Its Saturday afternoon and your son has fallen off his hoverboard or your husband off the ladder while making repairs. They describe the pain and you immediately think something is broken. However, your primary care doctor is off on Saturday and you typically try and avoid emergency rooms but this kind of pain can’t wait. Consider your local urgent care center for many different services and treatments, even x-rays.

Urgent Care: Expanding, Growing, Improving

There are 7,357 urgent care centers in the United States and a physician, or a group of physicians, owns approximately 50% of urgent care centers and approximately one in five urgent care centers have more than 450 patient visits per week. Eighty-five percent of urgent care centers are open seven days a week and many have extended hours. More than 66% of urgent care centers open before 9:00 am during the week, 45.7% doing so on Saturday and 31.1% on Sunday. The majority of centers remain open until 7:00 pm or later on weeknights, with two out of five remaining open until 9:00 pm or later.

An Urgent Care center can keep you from wasting time in a waiting room. According to a survey by The Urgent Care Association of America, 57% of patients wait 15 minutes or less to be seen, and about 80% of all visits are 60 minutes or less. Many don’t require and appointments and are usually open seven days a week. Seventy percent of advanced urgent care centers can provide intravenous fluids when needed and eighty percent provide fracture care. In addition to emergency care, std testing, pediatric care, and x-ray services are also handled within urgent care locations country-wide. Urgent care centers are also an option to consider for vaccinations and preventive medicine.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just under half of all adult ER patients were who were not sick enough to be admitted to the hospital sought treatment at the ER because their physicians’ offices were closed. Advanced Urgent care centers can obtain and handle your medical records and prescriptions like your doctor would. Approximately 40% of urgent care centers use electronic prescription ordering systems, with substantially larger proportions using computerized systems for viewing lab and imaging results, collecting patient demographics, billing, condition and procedure coding, and clinical notes.

Cost Effective X-Ray Results

For patients without health insurance, X-rays typically cost about $100-$1,000 or more. On average, X-rays cost $260-$460. Uninsured patients face may additional charges for things like x-rays, shots, lab tests or casting a broken bone but most insured patient the only cost is the copay. Actual X-ray cost depends on the provider, the part of the body being X-rayed, and the number of views taken. However, since urgent care is typically less expensive than emergency rooms, they are worth considering for x rays.

If you think you or a family member may have broken a bone but your doctor is unavailable, consider your local advanced urgent care center to save time, money and peace of mind.

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