- Familiarize Yourself With Your Insurance Plan
If you’re accustomed to going to your family physician, you’re probably used to paying a specific co-pay for your visit. Each urgent care center operates a bit differently and will likely have relationships with different health insurers. Depending on your insurer and the urgent care center you go to, you may be fully covered or may have to meet your deductible. It’s a good idea to check out your policy to see what’s covered first and whether the given clinic will actually accept your policy. If you aren’t sure, you can call your insurer or the clinic to get a definitive answer before you go. While your costs will likely be comparable to your doctor’s office (and certainly much cheaper than going to the emergency room), it’s a good idea to figure it out beforehand if you can so you aren’t surprised by the bill.
- Bring Important Information With You
One of the good things about seeing your regular doctor is that he or she has immediate access to the majority of your medical history. While that’s not always necessary in every case, it can be helpful when recommending medications or courses of treatment in a given situation. If you’re able to, bring along a list of any medications you’re taking, current medical conditions, recent procedures, allergies, and contact information for your primary care doctor(s). This will allow the staff to assess your illness or injury with a more complete picture of your medical health and history and provide better care for your needs.
- Avoid Peak Times When Possible
The beauty of urgent care clinics is the ability to get immediate treatment at nearly any time of the day (or night). Urgent care centers reported seeing an average of 12,000 patients per day in 2015, which equates to three patient visits per hour. That means urgent care wait times are typically much shorter than what you’ll experience even if you have an appointment with your regular physician. That said, there are times that are more crowded than others. Peak times can vary from center to center — and even within the same center — but there are some fairly universal times to avoid. If you have a choice about when you go, you may want to wait a bit after the center opens in the morning; this tends to be one of the busiest times of the day. The lunch hour may be rather crowded as well, and certainly, the evening hours (after most medical offices close) will generally be busier. Of course, your wait time shouldn’t be that long even during the clinic’s busiest hours. But if you’re in a real rush, you might do well to schedule your visit in advance or head to the urgent care facility in the early-to-mid-afternoon.
Generally speaking, urgent care clinics provide some of the fastest, most convenient treatment available. These tips can simply make your visit even more productive and ensure your experience is a less stressful one for you. For more information about our healthcare center, please contact us today