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Did You Know These 11 Facts About Urgent Care?

Urgent care centers are an easy alternative for those who can't get an appointment with their general practice physician or don't have one. It is like a walk-in clinic, but it offers more services. They provide quick, convenient, and cost-effective healthcare services for people with non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses that require rapid attention.

Let’s take a look at 11 things you need to know about urgent care - Philadelphia has many to choose from. We’ve listed the top facts you need to know when deciding if it is the right choice for you.

  1. Urgent Care Centers Have More Flexible Hours

    Urgent care is an excellent choice when you need treatment and your primary doctor’s office is closed for a weekend or holiday. Most are open every day of the week. It is also a good option when you require immediate attention, but your doctor’s office is booked solid.

    Urgent care centers operate on a walk-in and appointment basis, so you may have to wait in line, although the wait is usually shorter than at a primary care office. Usually open outside of regular work hours, they are also called after-hours clinics. Some are open 24/7 and offer walk-in appointments.

  2. Appointments May Be Available

    While the purpose of an afc urgent care clinic is to allow patients to walk in, some clinics do offer appointments.. If you want to be able to plan your day rather than wait to be seen, this can be a good choice.
  3. Urgent Care Centers Are Conveniently Located

    A whopping 34.1% of urgent care centers are found in strip malls and shopping centers. They may be in their own building, or they can have space in a mixed-use building. Only 19.1% are located in dedicated medical offices.
  4. They Can’t Prescribe All Medications

    While many urgent care clinics have an in-house pharmacy, there are limits on what they can prescribe. Any medication such as refills, anti-anxiety pills, or long-term pain medications that need ongoing monitoring or follow-up won’t be something they can provide.
  5. You Can Keep Medical Costs Down by Using Urgent Care

    The cost of care at an urgent care center varies according to the type of visit, the condition being treated, and the urgency of the situation. The average cost of an urgent care visit is anywhere between $150 and $500. That’s quite a savings compared to the average $1,354 associated with an emergency room visit! However, it is important to understand that urgent care facilities are not free and are not designed to replace primary care.
  6. Wait Times in Urgent Care Centers Are Usually Shorter

    Doctors' offices and emergency rooms are typically known for their long wait times. But in most cases, urgent care clinics can get you in to see a nurse practitioner, physician's assistant, or doctor in 30 minutes or less. You can often be out the door in less than an hour.
  7. Using Urgent Care Reduces the Strain on Emergency Services

    We’ve been hearing for years about the ongoing strain on emergency rooms throughout the United States. Urgent care helps reduce the workload of exhausted emergency personnel by offering similar services for patients who aren’t dealing with life-threatening illnesses or injuries.
  8. Urgent Care Doesn’t Replace Emergency Care

    Emergencies are urgent, but not all illnesses or injuries that need to be dealt with quickly are emergencies. It’s important to know when you need the advanced services of an emergency room. If you fall and break your wrist, you can go to an urgent care center, but if you suspect a heart attack or stroke, you need to go to the emergency room.
  9. You Don’t Need Insurance for Urgent Care Clinics, but It Helps

    Urgent care centers are also great options for people without health insurance to get treated for non-emergency medical conditions, like an ear infection or a sprained ankle. Urgent care centers also take insurance, but some may charge a co-pay, co-insurance, or an out-of-pocket fee.
  10. The Demand for Urgent Care Centers Is Growing

    Over 7,500 urgent care centers currently operate in the United States, according to the Urgent Care Association of America. Due to a shortage of general practitioners, this trend is expected to continue to help fill the healthcare gap.
  11. Urgent Care Can’t Replace Primary Care

    Urgent care centers aren’t equipped to treat or diagnose chronic or genetic illnesses. They also are not designed to support long-term care or oversight of ongoing health conditions. For these services, you need to develop a relationship with a primary care doctor.


Urgent care provides quick and cost-effective medical services for people with non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses that require rapid attention. It’s an important service that helps fill one of the gaps in the United States healthcare system. And it’s a helpful resource in managing your health and finances.

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