urgent care

Should I Go to Urgent Care or the Emergency Room?

Research shows that more people had health insurance in 2021 than those in 2020. Private health insurance was also shown to be more prevalent than other options.

Health insurance is one of the many things that can impact urgent care visits. If you are having medical issues, you need to know where to seek treatment.

A lot of people confuse urgent care with going to the emergency room. But these options are very different and ideal for different medical problems.

Keep reading to find out whether you need urgent care or need to go to an emergency room.

Urgent Care

You may be wondering if you should go to urgent care for your medical issues. For most people, this depends entirely upon what you are going for.

Urgent care provides medical resources for a variety of health concerns. For instance, the best urgent care facilities can treat minor injuries, fevers, and infections.

This option is also more accessible to a wider range of people. It isn’t as expensive as going to the ER, and you can usually receive faster medical assistance.

Urgent care facilities like MedNow provide labs and X-rays if needed. They can also provide assistance when it comes to asthma, allergies, or other health concerns.

For the most part, this is an option that is best for non-emergencies. You may not have a doctor, or they may not have an opening for you.

If that is the case, you can get the same level of care at urgent care. Some even provide after-hours medical care if that is what you need.

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, this is not the right option. These facilities are not usually equipped to handle emergencies or life-threatening illnesses.

Emergency Room

If you need medical care, there are several options available. One of the most common options that people recognize is going to the emergency room or the ER.

An emergency room is pretty self-explanatory since it is for emergencies. This is usually a section of the hospital designated for walk-in patients.

You may need to go to the emergency room if you have fallen and broken your arm. Or you may have experienced an allergy attack and are struggling to breathe.

These are examples of medical emergencies not suitable for urgent care. Keep in mind that when you go to the ER, it is not always first come, first serve.

Those who need urgent medical assistance will be a priority. Because of this, you could be sitting there for several hours before getting any care.

Can Urgent Care Provide Medication?

If you are having medical problems, you probably have a lot of questions. In a lot of these instances, you may end up needing prescription medication.

Examples of this include having a UTI or a URI. In both of these instances, you usually need a prescribed antibiotic.

Urgent care is the best place to get medical assistance for these issues. The doctors have experience with these problems and have the ability to prescribe medication.

Keep in mind that this is an option for short-term prescriptions. You cannot go to urgent care if you have prescriptions that you need on a regular basis.

Although you can use this as an option until you find a regular doctor to go to. See our list of Primary Care offices.

Does Urgent Care Take Insurance?

Many people worry about finances when it comes to medical issues. A lot of treatment options come with a high price tag that isn’t always affordable.

The good news is that most urgent care facilities do accept insurance. This allows you to cover your visit with only a small amount coming out of pocket.

Make sure you verify beforehand that the facility takes your health insurance. You may need to have a pre-payment or a co-pay when you are checking in.

It is worth noting that emergency rooms also accept insurance, though you probably will still pay more out-of-pocket.

When Should You Call 911?

You may also be wondering about another kind of urgent care. Calling the 911 hotline falls under emergency medical care for certain situations.

But not every medical situation requires you to call 911. For most people, this is the last option if you are having a medical emergency.

You do not need to call 911 unless you need immediate care. An ambulance is equipped to provide medical assistance once it reaches your location.

This is a good option if you have suffered a concussion, a back injury or you are bleeding. It is also an ideal option if you need assistance getting to medical care.

You may be unable to drive yourself, or it is unsafe to do so. Keep in mind that getting ambulance care is quite costly for the majority of people.

That is why it is important to understand when this is a resource you should and shouldn’t use.

Urgent Care Vs Emergency Rooms

If you’re having a medical problem, you may not know where to go. Urgent care and emergency rooms are the main options that come to mind.

But you should only go to an emergency room for real medical emergencies. Urgent care is a better option for things like infections or fevers where you need simple treatment.

Are you looking for a reliable urgent care facility? Contact us today at MedNow to check in.

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