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Urgent Care FAQs
Urgent care are available to assist patients that are looking for immediate, convenient medical care. In that manner, they are similar to an emergency room. The difference, however, is that ERs are meant to treat major, life-threatening injuries and illnesses while urgent care centers manage life’s minor bruises and bumps. In simple terms, an urgent care is seen as a walk-in health center that focuses in offering non-emergent health care conditions, including the treatment of the typical illnesses and injuries such as fractures and sprains, cuts and burns, scrapes, stings and bites, flu and cold symptoms, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, and much more. Most urgent care facilities offer both diagnostic and preventive care such as well visits, immunizations, STD testing and annual physicals. For regular visits and check-ups on these clinics, you should expect to pay between $20 and $100. The good thing is that most urgent care clinics will accept major PPOs and insurance cover, Medicare, as well as self-pay in the form of credit cards or cash. Urgent care clinics are located in most parts of the country in various regions to offset emergency room visits and provide a gap in healthcare services. They take patients during all hours of operations, which offer a significant convenience to most people who have and continue to undergo the need for sudden and immediate medical attention.Read All
Urgent care facilities are seen as a combination between an emergency room (ER) and a PCP (Primary Care Physicians), serving the instant and after hours requirements of neighboring patients. Most urgent care clinics even say that they can diagnose and treat up to seventy-five percent of the patients who visit an emergency room. The primary difference between an ER and Urgent care is the experience of the patient. The average waiting time in an ER is almost 2.5 hours while waiting time in urgent care is between 15 and 45 minutes. The cost of urgent care is usually a fraction of what you would pay in an emergency room. It is advisable to visit an emergency room in situations of medical emergency because urgent care clinics are meant for minor and non-emergent illnesses and injuries.Read All
You will often see the terms urgent care clinic, retail clinic, immediate care clinic, walk-in clinic, and convenient clinic being interchangeably used nowadays. The emergence of emergency rooms complicated the conversation. A walk-in clinic is a type of clinic in which patients can walk-in with no advance appointment. An urgent care clinic, on the other hand, denotes a subgroup of the walk-in clinic model that typically provides extended hours, extended services and abilities as well as on-site lab tests and x-rays.Read All
The price charged in urgent care will be based on the location, and there are no actual standard costs between the clinics. Assuming you are paying with cash, you might come across an urgent clinic that charges you $50 while another situated some mile away charges you $100 for the same services. The standard cost in urgent care where insurance cover is not involved ranges from $100 to $125. This price is generally the standard price of a visit before extra services. There are a couple of additional care services that could make your appointment to an urgent care costly including x-rays and lab tests, medications and injections (such as immunization), casting broken bones, as well as stitches and splints. If you have a viable insurance plan in place, the standard pay will be between $20 – 50 depending on your insurance coverage and whether you are in contact with the provider.Read All
All insurance providers indicate whether their plan covers urgent care facilities or not. Individual clinics and providers may or may not possess a relationship with a particular plan. This aspect makes the scenario complicated. In most situations, insurance providers will cover the urgent care centers, and patients will be needed to pay a co-payment every time they visit the facility. In other rare occasions, it is common for the urgent care facilities to reject some insurance plans even if the provider has indicated that they will pay for the costs incurred. With these uncertainties, it is always advisable to call urgent care centers in advance to determine whether they accept specific insurance plans or not.Read All
Urgent Care Guide
In a recent survey conducted with the Urgent Care Association, Solv found that patients were waiting an average of 24 days for appointments with their primary care provider. In a world of instant gratification, consumers demand more. They demand now. If you want to watch a movie, you download it in minutes or stream it instantly. If you need groceries, you can pick up your phone and have them delivered to you within the hour. If you need restaurant reservations, you find one with availability, book online, walk in minutes later and sit right down. Healthcare shouldn’t be any different.
That’s why urgent care has been growing at a faster pace than any other healthcare service in the United States. And it is why healthcare consumers search for “urgent care” more than 5x more than “primary care” or “family doctor,” combined. These consumers are highly actionable, searching with high intent terms like “urgent care near me.” They want same day access to quality healthcare providers when they are sick or injured - after hours, one weekends and on holidays - without the cost and inconvenience of the emergency room.
Urgent care centers typically treat minor illnesses like the flu, sinus infections and strep throat, as well as injuries like bone fractures and sprains, cuts, scrapes and burns, making these clinics ideal for diagnosing and treating non-emergent healthcare needs. And at a growing rate urgent care clinics are offering preventative care services including annual physicals and well visits, flu shots and other immunizations and vaccines, taking on the role of primary care provider for the tens of millions of consumers that don’t have one.
For kids there are special pediatric urgent care centers, usually open after hours for patients between the ages of 1 and 18.
Services & Pricing
Urgent care centers, which are part of the walk-in clinic healthcare category, are a convenient resource for consumers needing treatment for minor illnesses and injuries. Services that you would normally receive at your primary care office are usually available at an urgent care including annual and school physicals, flu shots and immunizations, treatment for illnesses including colds, flu stomach pains, sinus and ear infections and more. You can also be seen for injuries such as burns, bites, sprains and breaks - things that you might first thing to go to the emergency room vs urgent care, but you’ll have a shorter wait and smaller bill at the urgent care. As for cost, without insurance, you should expect between $100-140 for your visit, plus the cost of any labs, tests or images. With insurance, urgent care will be similar to seeing a specialist with applicable co-pay.
Insurance & Payments
Nearly all urgent care centers take commercial insurance and many (if not most) will take medicare. As such if you have insurance coverage, you can expect the financial experience to be similar to visiting a specialist where you have a co-pay, usually $35-50, due at the time of the visit. Any additional lab work, x-rays or other tests performed will be billed against your insurance first and any supplemental balance due will be invoiced to you after the fact. Without insurance, you’ll pay a visit fee between $100-140 at the time of your visit. This is typically 25-50% more than your primary care provider, but usually the convenience is well worth the additional cost. If you are interested in a telehealth or video visit, your cost could be as much as 50% less than an urgent care, you could be diagnosed and prescribed medication and you’ll never have to leave your home.
Hours & Wait Times
Every urgent care center - even those part of the same group or brand - may have different hours. While they are meant to be conveniently accessible during times when your primary care provider is not, that’s subjective and highly variable. A traditional formula, however, is that an urgent care is open 6 to 7 days a week usually between the hours of 8 am to 8 pm. That could shift to nearly any 8-12 hour period between 7 am and 10 pm. You’ll even find some clinics open 24 hours a day, similar to an emergency room. As for wait time, most patients report waiting between 15-45 minutes on average, but that can certainly vary, as well. It’s usually best to find an urgent care near you to either confirm the hours online, or call the clinic directly to verify. Or, you can book a same day doctor appointment online with Solv.
- East County Urgent Care
- Gaslamp Medical Center
- Covid Clinic - San Diego
- Sharp Rees Stealy Downtown Urgent Care
- Sharp - Reese Stealy Urgent Care
- One Medical Downtown San Diego
- Peak Health Group
- CVS Pharmacy
- Walgreens Healthcare Clinic
- Walgreens Healthcare Clinic
- Perlman Clinic
- US Healthworks
- Linda Vista Healthcare
- San Diego Family Care Mid-City Community Clinic
- La Maestra Family Clinic
- CVS Pharmacy
- US Healthworks
- Nsight COVID Testing - San Diego International Airport
- Danh C. Truong, M.D., MPH
- Perlman Clinic