10 Things Urgent Care Center Docs Won’t Tell You
We can see you early:-The next time your regular doctor says it will be months before you can get an appointment, we may be able to help. Many urgent care centers offer STD tests, school and sports physicals, adult vaccinations, Pap smears, skin allergy treatments, and more.
Some call us lazy:-Some primary care docs dont like us because they say we skim the easy work and avoid responsibility for more complex matters. For instance, we’ll sew up the laceration on an inebriated person, but we wont address bigger issues like alcoholism and high blood pressure.
Coming here by mistake can be costly:-Sorry, you won’t save money if you come here when you really need to go to the ER. If we transfer you by ambulance to the hospital, you may be responsible for co-pays at both places, plus the ambulance ride, which can double your fee.
All urgent care centers are not created equal:-Some can handle only basic ailments: sore throats, simple wounds, colds, and coughs; they don’t have an X-ray machine or a lab. Others can take on diagnoses and tests.
Our free samples could cost you later:-We are happy to give you a sample of the latest drug for your treatment. But that tends to be the most expensive. Ask for a less pricey but equally effective option so you can refill your prescription with ease.
Not all our suggestions are good ideas:-If I suggest a specific test or procedure, ask whether you really need it and what it will cost. To protect us from potential lawsuits, our clinic guidelines may require us to suggest various treatments even when they’re not really needed.
If you are paying cash, don’t be afraid to negotiate on price:-We may be able to reduce your bill, but there has to be a reason. Some urgent care centers even have special cards you can purchase that guarantee you a discount at every single visit.
Make a reservation:-To save time, call to see if you can get on the waiting list before you come. Some centers will send you a text message 30 minutes before someone can see you.
Very few of our doctors start in urgent care:-Many are burned-out ER or primary care doctors looking for less stress and easier hours.
Even if there is a doctor on-site, you may never see him or her:-Most urgent care centers are staffed with physician assistants and nurse-practitioners; typically, a doctor is consulted for complicated cases.