Finding the Best Urgent Care Near You: What to Know
These days, more Americans are visiting urgent care clinics than ever before. In fact, the number of urgent care visitors increased by 119 percent between 2008 and 2015.
There are thousands of urgent care clinics available throughout the United States. But, not all of these clinics are created equal.
Before you type in “walk in clinics near me” to try and find a clinic in your neighborhood, it’s important to know what to look for in an urgent care clinic.
Read on to learn more about how to choose the best urgent care clinics for your needs.
Reasons to Visit Urgent Care
When most people think of getting treatment at an urgent care facility, they think about treatment for minor injuries like cuts and sprains.
It’s true that an urgent care clinic is a great place to visit for these kinds of issues. That’s not the only reason to head to urgent care, though.
Medical professionals at urgent care clinics can treat a wide range of health problems, including the following:
- Moderate back injuries
- Breathing difficulties, including mild-to-moderate asthma attacks
- Fever and flu-like symptoms
- Vomiting, diarrhea, and/or dehydration
- Moderate-to-severe coughs and sore throats
- Minor fractures
- Skin rashes and infections
In many cases, you can also have diagnostic services performed at urgent care clinics. This includes things like laboratory tests and x-rays.
Finding the Right Urgent Care Clinic
If you’re dealing with any of the issues listed above, it can be hard to know which urgent care clinic you should visit.
Here are some tips to help you decide where to go to receive medical attention:
Look for Proof of Accreditation or Certification
When searching for an urgent care clinic, determine whether the clinic is accredited or certified.
The Urgent Care Association of America (also known as the UCAOA) offers two levels of membership.
Some urgent care clinics become certified when they meeting certain standards. For example, they may stay open for extended hours or offer x-ray and laboratory services.
Clinics can also apply for UCAOA accreditation. In order to obtain this accreditation, the clinic must undergo a site visit and show that they have implemented high levels of quality and safety practices.
A clinic that is not accredited or certified by the UCAOA can still be reliable. They may be certified by a different organization, such as the Joint Commission, which is an independent, non-profit group.
The key is to make sure that they have some kind of certification or accreditation.
Consider Payment Requirements – Private Insurance And Medicard
Most urgent care clinics will accept private insurance. Many of the clinics accredited or certified by the UCAOA accept private insurance and Medicare.
The majority of these clinics accept worker’s compensation, too, so they’re a viable option if you’ve been injured on the job.
If you do not have health insurance, you can still visit an urgent care clinic. Try asking for a cash discount to make your care a little more affordable.
Look into Their Location
If you’re sick or injured (or are dealing with a sick or injured child) and are looking for a walk in clinic, chances are you don’t want to have to travel very far.
Consider the location of an urgent care clinic before you decide to visit it. Take a look at the address and figure out how far away it is from your house.
Consider the distance between the urgent care clinic and the hospital, too. If worst comes to worst and you have to go to the emergency room for additional care, visiting a clinic close to the hospital will allow you to get treatment sooner.
Consider Your Provider Options
Does the clinic have licensed physicians on staff? Physician Assistants? Nurse Practitioners?
Do they have pediatricians and lab technicians working in their facility as well?
It’s not always necessary to work with a specific type of provider, but you should know what to expect before you arrive.
Find out how many physicians are working at the clinic, too. Some clinics only have one physician available at a time.
Ask About Availability
Most urgent care clinics are open for extended hours. It shouldn’t be too difficult to find one that’s open on the weekend or during the evening.
If your injury or illness strikes late in the night, though, you may have to do a bit of digging to find a clinic that is open 24 hours per day.
Be sure to consider how holidays will affect the clinic’s availability, too.
Ask the Right Questions
Before you head to a walk in clinic in your area, call ahead and ask a few additional questions. The following are some good questions you should ask:
- Will you share information about my visit with my primary care physician?
- Are you affiliated with a particular hospital or physician’s network?
- Can I make an appointment to get seen sooner?
- Do you dispense prescription medications?
You may also want to ask about the anticipated wait time before you head over. That way, you can be prepared and bring something to occupy you in the waiting area.
Finally, don’t forget to read online reviews. Check third-party sites like Yelp to see what other people are saying about a particular clinic.
Don’t just focus on a clinic’s star rating. Read the reviews carefully and learn what people like and don’t like. Then, take their complaints and praise into account when making your final decision.
Find Walk in Clinics Near Me Today
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into the process of finding a good urgent care clinic.
If you keep these tips in mind, though, you shouldn’t have any trouble sorting through your options and finding one that meets your needs.
When you’re trying to find a clinic for yourself or someone in your family, don’t forget to use our free search tool, too.
With this easy-to-use tool, there’s no need to type “walk in clinics near me” into Google and hope that a good option pops up. Instead, you’re able to find urgent care clinics that are open are ready to work with you.
Start your search today!
- 1 Reasons to Visit Urgent Care
- 2 Finding the Right Urgent Care Clinic
- 3 Find Walk in Clinics Near Me Today