Avoiding Emergency Rooms: How Urgent Care Clinics Are a Good Option For Medical Care

by | Jun 23, 2014 | Health

Top Stories



When someone is in need of urgent medical care, they do not have the time to schedule and wait for an opening at a doctor’s office. Hospital emergency rooms are able to handle any type of emergency, but they can be very costly. The cost of an ER visit on average is $1200 or more, depending on the care provided and your location. Instead of waiting in an ER and paying exorbitant amounts of money to the hospital, Urgent care clinics offer immediate care for most minor to moderate medical emergencies.


Also known as walk-in clinics, these facilities are usually open 7 days a week, with most having hours that begin at 8AM and close after 8PM. They are generally not open on major holidays. Walk-in clinics are staffed with at least one physician, as well as a team of nurses, and physicians’ assistants. Patients can come in without appointments and are treated on the spot. Depending on the clinic, various health insurance plans are accepted. For those who do not have health insurance, clinics will arrange a payment plan with you. Most of the care provided at an urgent care center will cost less than $150, so the savings when compared to emergency visits are compelling.


These facilities have diagnostic equipment such as X-ray machines, phlebotomy, and lab testing capabilities. Urgent care clinics also contract with pharmaceutical companies so that they can write and dispense any required prescriptions to patients before they leave. They are able to treat a wide range of illnesses and injuries and perform basic medical procedures, such as setting broken bones and sprains, and stitching lacerations. They also treat common illnesses like upper respiratory infections, strep throat, sinus and ear infections, and urinary tract infections, among other issues. They do not perform surgery and problems that are beyond their capabilities will be referred to another medical facility.


People can save a lot of money by visiting an urgent care clinics instead of doctor’s offices or ER rooms. They are also convenient for people with inflexible work schedules or for those who have children and need to receive care during non-traditional office hours. Most states have dozens of urgent care clinics in cities and towns throughout the region. Missouri Delta Medical Center is an example of an urgent care facility in Missouri. Look for clinics in your state the next time you require medical care. For latest updates follow us on Facebook!