With over 150 million patient visits every year, industry insiders report that American urgent care facilities can reasonably expect continued growth in the coming decade. Coinciding with new standards for licensing and certification, advanced urgent care statistics continue to indicate that the average cost per visit is significantly lower than treatment at an emergency room.
For sports injuries, fractures, ear and eye infections, and many other minor to moderate injuries, parents can expect to pay about one-tenth of the cost of an emergency room visit, recent studies show. Using urgent care for kids who participate in after-school sports may be more convenient due to individual clinics’ hours of operation; schools may provide a list of clinics to parents whose children play autumn and winter sports.
Some parents may want to keep a list of their children’s medications handy in case of emergency; keeping track of ear infections and fevers in a notebook can help speed urgent care clinic visits along. Keeping important medical information in waterproof bags or containers can also help ensure that advanced urgent care doctors prescribe the appropriate treatment and medication for young patients with allergies.
About half of all urgent care centers are owned by a doctor or by a group of doctors, and new patients should feel that they can talk freely about their symptoms and past diagnoses. Urgent care health professionals understand that some patients have recurring infections, chronic medical conditions, or allergies that need to be treated by a specialist.
Urgent care continues to flourish in America, and patients who need treatment in the early morning hours, in the evening, and on the weekend often seek care at smaller facilities. Recent statistical reports indicate that some larger metropolitan areas could increase the number of their urgent care centers by a factor of three and still have difficulty meeting patient demand. Investors are putting billions into a new model of patient care, hoping that the numbers of patient visits will continue to grow.