Phoenix is the 5th largest city in the country. With a population of 4.5 million and about 2000 square miles. When you include Maricopa county, it’s even larger. The desert is truly sprawling. In addition to the large residential population, Phoenix gets about 22 million people visiting metropolitan area each year! As a common corporate headquarters, sports hub, and great place to visit, it should be no surprise that the Phoenix boasts some incredibly high quality health care options. However, with so many options, it can be challenging to determine the best option for your unique needs.
When it comes to urgent care in Phoenix, there is no shortage of options as the area is one of the more concentrated markets in the country for convenient care clinics with nearly 300 locations throughout the valley. Most of which are open seven days a week for non-emergency medical treatment and patients can just walk-in with no appointment required.
Most of these clinics are branches of one of several larger urgent care groups including NextCare, Alliance Urgent Care, FastMed, Banner Health or Concentra. There are also quite a few CVS MinuteClinics and Walgreens Healthcare Clinics throughout the region.
Types of Walk-In Clinics in Phoenix
As urgent care centers made themselves more prevalent in the Phoenix market in the early 2000s, the question was mostly about urgent care vs the ER and when you should go to each. With consumers getting more comfortable with that understanding (largely contributed to by the rising costs and frustrating patient experience at hospital emergency rooms!) and the rise of retail clinics across the valley, the question now is more about which type of walk-in clinic should I visit?
In Phoenix, you generally have 5 types of walk-in clinics:
- Urgent care centers. Usually staffed by a medical doctor, open 7 days a week and has both imaging and diagnostic equipment on-site.
- Pediatric urgent care centers. The same services as a regular urgent care, but with staff trained and facilities designed to treat infants to young adults.
- Retail clinics. Located in a retail pharmacy, staffed by a nurse practitioner or other mid-level and addresses only minor illnesses and vaccinations.
- Primary care offices. Your general primary care provider which may offer walk-in hours sometime during the week, usually for sick visits only.
- Occupational medicine clinics. Mostly contract-based relationships with employers to handle services like work injuries, drug screenings, etc.
- Community clinics. Government and non-profit healthcare clinics, usually in impoverished communities with services available at low or no cost to patients.
Each of these walk-in clinic types are found in the Phoenix metro area and they are all intended to fill the gap in healthcare between primary care and emergency care, addressing minor injuries and illnesses of patients.
How to Select the Right Clinic
The first question to ask yourself is whether an urgent care clinic is right for you. As noted above, Phoenix offers a variety of non-emergent healthcare options for walk-in patients. Here is a quick chart to help you determine which type of walk-in clinic you should be visiting.
Once you have determined which clinic type is most applicable for you, you then need to select which specific location to visit. Ask yourself these important evaluation questions:
- Where is the clinic center located?
- Do they accept my insurance?
- What type of providers work at the clinic?
- What hours are they open?
- Does the clinic allow me to book a visit in advance, or will I just walk in?
- What are other patients saying about the clinic in online reviews?
Each person may rank the importance of each of these questions differently. For instance, location may be the single most important factor as you aren’t willing to drive across the Valley for a higher rated clinic. Others would be willing to make the drive from Glendale to Scottsdale for a clinic that accepts their insurance and is open right now. Use your own method for weighting the importance of each criteria.
Highest Rated Urgent Care Centers in Phoenix
The importance of online ratings and reviews can’t be denied. In fact, many consumers say that online ratings are just as, if not more important than recommendations for their friends and family. Based on the ratings on Solv, the following are the top 10 highest rated urgent care clinics in Phoenix:
- NextCare Urgent Care, Sun City (4.9 stars from 648 ratings)
- Alliance Urgent Care, Goodyear (4.8 stars from 250 ratings)
- NextCare Urgent Care, Peoria (4.8 stars from 626 ratings)
- NextCare Urgent Care, Mesa (E McKellips Rd) (4.8 stars from 403 ratings)
- Alliance Urgent Care, Peoria (4.8 stars from 221 ratings)
- NextCare Urgent Care, Phoenix (19th Avenue) (4.8 stars from 530 ratings)
- NextCare Urgent Care, Phoenix (E Indian School Rd) (4.7 stars from 456 ratings)
- NextCare Urgent Care, Mesa (E Baseline Rd) (4.7 stars from 302 ratings)
- NextCare Urgent Care, North Mesa (4.7 stars from 595 ratings)
- NextCare Urgent Care, Ocotillo (4.7 stars from 426 ratings)
as of January 23, 2019
Hours of Urgent Care in Phoenix
Some urgent care facilities are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Others may have more limited hours, and they may also close their doors for major holidays or inclement weather (unlike emergency rooms, which are always up and running). The hours depend largely on the individual facility, so if you are unsure if an urgent care location is open, you can always check online or call ahead.
Hours may even vary between two facilities that belong to the same company. For example, NextCare on Thomas Road is open daily from 8 a.m. to midnight, while the NextCare in Mesa is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. Meanwhile, all local Alliance Urgent Care locations are open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and until 5 p.m. on weekends.
While every clinic is different, most urgent care centers are open 10-12 hours daily with their busiest days being on Monday and Friday. In Phoenix, when looking at an aggregate of all urgent care centers, below is an chart of average busy hours.
Again, every clinic is different, but patients typically flock to the clinic just after they open, during their lunch hour, and right when they get off work. If you have flexibility, you may consider aiming for the slower periods. Or, better yet, use Solv to find a book a clinic visit online to mitigate the wait you would experience as a walk-in patient. We find that booking in advance cuts the average patients wait time by half, or more.
Urgent Care Services and Costs
Urgent care facilities in Phoenix treat illness and injuries, such as sprains, broken bones, influenza, coughs and colds, and allergic reactions, as well as vomiting, stomach pain, cuts, burns, and animal bites and stings. NextCare Urgent Care and Alliance Urgent Care also offer well visits, yearly physicals, and vaccinations, including the flu shot. Alliance also offers X-ray services, as well as abscess treatments, breathing treatments, and ear wax drainage. NextCare offers pregnancy and drug testing, as well as urine and diagnostic tests.
Below is a chart of the top 10 reasons for urgent care visits in Phoenix. While this list will vary throughout the year - flu season really spikes between January and Marcy, for instance - this is an annualized look.
Depending on what services you need for a healthcare provider - and whether or not you have health insurance - the cost of an urgent care visit could range considerably. Urgent care centers in Phoenix generally offer basic pricing for an office visit with additional charges for any extra services. These prices can range anywhere from $25 to $170 depending on the treatments they require and the urgent care facility they visit. As examples, the base price at Alliance Urgent Care is $90, while NextCare charges a flat rate of $170 for an office visit. These are out-of-pocket prices and do not include any insurance coverage. If you have commercial insurance, your copay is usually determined by your insurer, but is usually the same as visiting a specialist and typically ranges between $25-50.
It is important to consider that these are just the base price for the office visit. If you need blood or lab tests, x-rays, or other diagnostic services, or if you need a stitches, a splint, or casting for your injury, these services will have different costs and should be discussed with you during your visit.
Healthcare for Travelers in Phoenix
Phoenix is a popular tourist destination with many things to do. Many people travel there for the Southwestern lifestyle and the beautiful desert views, especially the nearby cycling, rock climbing, hiking opportunities, as well as numerous world-renowned golf courses. Each of these activities are incredibly relaxing and/or invigorating, but also could pose health and safety risks. If you are traveling to Phoenix, use Solv to find an urgent care near you either in advance or when you need it.
There are many great hotels in the wider Phoenix area, many of them within easy travel distance of an urgent care facility. For example, Residence Inn Phoenix is less than two miles from the nearest urgent care. Meanwhile, many of Phoenix’s largest hotels are found in the downtown area, including the Westin Phoenix Downtown, Sheraton Grand Phoenix, the Arizona Biltmore, and Double Inn and Suites.
Healthcare for Residents of Phoenix
There are so many reasons why people who live in Phoenix love to call it home. From beautiful views to easy access to three states (as well as Mexico), to the best big-city traffic in the country, Phoenix residents are lucky.
When it comes to urgent care options, Phoenix is yet again an amazing place to be. In addition to regular urgent care facilities, Phoenix also has several pediatric urgent care centers. This is significant since most standard urgent cares cannot accept patients under the age of 18 months. Good Night Pediatrics and Phoenix Children’s are both great options for medical care for infants and children.
Meanwhile, for college students, Banner University offers urgent care services to treat asthma, minor injuries, animal bites, flu symptoms, and fever.
There are also a number of social services throughout Maricopa County dedicated to helping you find prompt, excellent medical care. The local Healthcare For The Homeless program helps those without stable living situations access treatment. There are also social services that work in conjunction with Arizona Children’s, a hospital that serves sick children.
Hospitals in Phoenix
When it comes to hospitals, there is again no shortage of options in Phoenix. The city has a total of 24 hospitals, both general and specialty. That doesn’t even count the hospitals in the broader valley. Among these are the Arizona Heart Institute, Barrow Neurological Institute, Mayo Clinic Hospital, and St. Luke’s Medical Center.
The largest hospital in Phoenix is Banner University Medical Center. Founded in 1911, it currently has a medical staff of more than 1,600 physicians and more than 3,000 medical personnel in total. It serves more than 175,000 patients every year.
Banner Health is also a nonprofit hospital. In fact, it is the largest nonprofit in the state of Arizona. Other nonprofit hospitals in Phoenix include John C. Lincoln Deer Valley Hospital, Mayo Clinic Hospital, and Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
Phoenix also has several charity clinics that offer medical care for those in need. Phoenix Allies for Community Health (PACH) offers services to those without medical insurance who cannot get care at most facilities. The Phoenix chapter of A Mission of Mercy helps people get prescription medications at no cost. Those without insurance can find specialty care from dentistry to gynecology, ultrasounds, X-rays, and more at The Neighborhood Christian Clinic.
Neighborhoods in Phoenix
- Ahwatukee Foothills
- Camelback East
- Central City
- Deer Valley
- Desert View
- North Gateway
- North Mountain
- Paradise Valley
- Rio Vista
- South Mountain
Zip Codes in Phoenix