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Urgent care units are a convenient, unique option for people who have an illness or injury but who don’t want to go to the emergency room (ER). Going to the ER is a pain. Long lines, hectic staff, and of course its expense. Unless you have a life-threatening condition, going to an urgent care clinic is an ideal solution taken advantage of by millions of Americans every year.

The Urgent Care Association of America (UCAA) reports there are over 9,000 urgent care centers in the country today, all of which provide excellent and quick medical care. What are some of the benefits of choosing an urgent care unit over the ER? There are quite a few but here are three to get you started:

  1. The Cost: Walk in health clinics are known for their affordability, especially for people with inadequate or no health insurance. The average difference in cost for the same services between the ER and urgent care ranges from $228 to $583. That is a lot of money! Many urgent care clinics have flexible payment options and deals for people who are underinsured as well.
  2. The Wait: ERs are notorious for long waits. Unlike ERs, urgent care has on average very reasonable waiting times. Sixty-nine percent of clinics have an average waiting time less than 20 minutes; 28% have a time between 21 and 40 minutes; and just 3% have a time longer than 40 minutes. No one wants to stay in the ER or urgent care clinic longer than they have to. Urgent care centers ensure that patients don’t.
  3. The Convenience: Urgent care clinics provide just about any kind of service as the ER with some exceptions. From broken ankles and fevers to school physical exams, urgent care makes sure patients are alive and well.

For more information about their services (such as school physical exams), feel free to leave a comment or question at the bottom.

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