Mar 27, 2020

The Common Mistakes People Make When Visiting Urgent Care Centers

Urgent care centers have popped up all over America. And it has become a common way for a majority of people to receive care. According to the Urgent Care Association of America, there are over 9,000 urgent care centers in the U.S.

The urgent care centers treat diseases such as urinary tract infections [UTI], cold, flu, cough, joint and muscle sprains and strains, STIs, and so much more.
Most of the urgent care centers are usually located conveniently and there is no booking an appointment, you just walk in and receive treatment as quickly as possible. But while visiting urgent care centers, patients often make some mistakes that sometimes cost them a lot. The mistakes include;

1.       Failing to know their insurance policy
Urgent care centers often take some types of insurance. This makes it cost-effective. However, as a patient, you must ensure that your insurance plan covers for urgent care and that the urgent care center you intend to visit accepts it before you can see a doctor.

You can give your insurance provider a call and discuss the urgent care payment options before heading to the center. You don’t want a scenario where you’ll be hit by a huge bill after treatment.

2.       Treating an urgent care center as an emergency room
The difference between an urgent care center and an ER is that ER treats emergency situations, such as heart attack, stroke, severe bleeding, difficulty breathing, or vision changes. On the other hand, urgent care treats minor diseases rather than the ones mentioned above like coughs, flu, STIs, etc. So if you need immediate care for a life-threatening condition, you shouldn’t go to urgent care, book an emergency room instead. Going to the wrong place will mean that there will be a delay in treatment which could be dangerous.

3.       Expecting to be seen by the main doctor
 Just because there’s no guarantee that you’ll see the main doctor doesn’t mean that you are in bad hands. All the nurses and assistant physicians are highly knowledgeable and qualified. They can diagnose, offer a treatment plan and direct support when you need it. Just ensure that you know who will be seeing you.

4.       Thinking you can get refills on prescription
Urgent care centers can prescribe medication such as anti-inflammatory painkillers or acne medication, but there will be a cap on the number of pills, and so you won’t get a refill unless you book another appointment at the center. Furthermore, if you already take medicines like Adderall, an urgent care center may not refill that prescription for you.

5.       Assuming that all urgent care centers offer the same treatment
Clinics vary when it comes to the services that they offer. Some centers can stitch you up if you are severely bleeding or offer STI testing on-site, while others may not. The services a center offers depends on the facility, location, the types of staff, and the kind of medical equipment that are available. You can call the center first to know the services they offer.

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