Staffed with fully trained doctors, providers, and medical staff, the expansion of urgent care over the last several years has marked the beginning of a shifting paradigm in community healthcare. With medical costs continuing to rise, urgent care has experienced significant growth, with the number of facilities jumping from 8,000 to 9,300 nationwide in the last five years alone.
Offering their services in local neighborhoods, urgent care centers bridge the gap between a primary care physician and the emergency room. With recent reports estimating that as much as 56% of all ER visits could have been avoided and handled elsewhere, urgent care centers like AFC Doctors Express step in when primary care physicians are unreachable or busy with other clients. In a study conducted by the National Institute of Health, it was found that the costs of an average ER visit ran as high as $1,233, while urgent care facilities average anywhere from $71 to $125 for a typical visit. They als provide a faster, simpler, and almost always more affordable choice for non-life threatening medical care.
“In the past, emergency rooms were often the only choice. People are now beginning to realize that there’s an alternative,”said AFC Doctors Express Medical Director, Dr. Laura Mellick. “We hope to provide services to fill the acute care gap that exists between primary care availability and emergency care.”
Placed in high visibility, often high-end retail settings, urgent care facilities allow patients to seek the help they need, in a location that is quick and convenient when they need it. Covering nearly all non-life threatening injuries and ailments, with licensed doctors attending to patients promptly. Centers across the nation are seeing as many as 3 million patients weekly according to the American Academy of Urgent Care Medicine, and the figures show no signs of slowing down. In addition to seeing walk-in patients AFC Doctors Express also provides travel vaccinations, sports and camp physicals, occupational health services such as drug screens, as well as pre-employment and D.O.T physicals.
“We see ourselves as a community resource that is available with extended hours and during weekends,” said Clinic Director Guru Sankar. “We see a lot of patients with insurance, but also welcome patients who do not have insurance; we have very affordable cash prices for these self-pay patients”.