Urgent Care Centers are playing an increasing role in healthcare nationwide as a treatment option for non-emergency illnesses and injuries. But what factors should consumers consider when choosing an urgent care center?
According to the best doctors in New Jersey, urgent care centers account for 18.2% of all primary care visits and 9.7% of outpatient visits in the US. To be sure, these centers have experienced a rapid growth in a short period of time.
Why Urgent Care?
Urgent care centers offer an alternative to the long waits and high costs of an emergency room visit. Urgent care is perfect for non-life threatening conditions and because they provide walk-in access to medical care after hours or on weekends when most primary care physicians are unavailable. They offer a wide range of services, treating everything from strains, sprains and minor fractures to cold or flu symptoms, mild asthma and rashes.
The secaucus doctors say that choosing the right urgent care center starts with evaluating quality and safety. The urgent care industry has evolved quickly over the past few years so there is a wide spectrum of urgent care practices to choose from; however, some practices mark themselves as urgent care centers but do not fit all the criteria needed for the classification. It’s important for patients to understand where to go in order to receive high-quality care and proper follow-up as needed.
Check for Certification
Urgent care in Paramus, New Jersey suggests picking a center that is accredited. Centers can be certified by meeting certain requirements: for instance, if they have a medical director, offer extended hours, X-ray services and laboratories for testing. Accredited centers have to demonstrate the highest levels of quality—what’s known as the “gold standard.” The majority of centers will list certification or accreditation on their websites.
Paying for Urgent Care
How you pay for an urgent care visit is an important variant to consider before you receive any services. The best doctors in New Jersey accept private insurance or worker’s compensation. People who lack health insurance can ask for cash discounts but the discounts vary by state because of state regulations.
Questions to Ask About Urgent Care
If you are considering a visit to an urgent care center, here are several things to review in advance:
- Is the center affiliated with a particular hospital or physicians network? It’s important to ensure you find an urgent care facility that is in-network with your health insurance so that the cost of care remains under control. The urgent care center of your choice should be affiliated with your health system so they can communicate closely with your primary care doctor to optimize your care.
- Can you make an appointment? Most urgent care centers accept walk-in patients but you can also make appointments. Some centers offer online check-in so patients can complete paperwork before coming in.
Does the center accept children? Most urgent care centers treat children but some may not accept patients younger than 6 months.
- Does the center offer laboratory services and X-rays? Not all centers offer imaging and lab services. Blood tests are sometimes processed in a separate laboratory, which means results may take longer to obtain. Many centers, but not all, have on-site pharmacies.
- Who is on staff? Most centers have a medical doctor available at all times while others may have a physician’s assistants, nurse practioner or registered nurse. Some urgent care centers are staffed with board-certified emergency medicine physicians and licensed physician’s assistants who can handle more complex clinical problems that require a higher-level of skill and care. This will save you a trip to the Emergency Room.
- Does the urgent care center offer primary care services?: Your local urgent care center may offer primary care services in addition to walk-in treatment for a sudden illness or injury. Garden State Medical Group, a primary care clinic care in North Bergen, Secaucus, recommends that you research the local care centers before you actually need medical care. The center’s websites offer details about certification, staffing, services, types of insurance accepted and hours of operation.
For more details on urgent care in North Bergen, New Jersey contact us today!