When a medical need arises, we ask ourselves “where is the urgent care closest to me?” Nearby urgent care Portland for our own health and health of our family. From things as simple as an ankle sprain, which 25,000 people in the United States get every day, to the common cold, which Americans get a billion of every year, to those ear infections that five out of six children will contract before they turned three years old, pediatric urgent care and other types of urgent care centers provide fast, effective, and reasonably priced care. But that urgent care closest to me? Is that the best one to choose? Here are some questions to ask when we need to choose the right family urgent care.
- How expensive will it be? Medical care is expensive and there’s no way around it. Medical professionals sacrifice an enormous amount of their time and effort to become qualified to provide us with care, and they deserve to be compensated for that output of time and effort. Medications and medical devices also cost money, and facilities must be paid for, from the HVAC system, to the electricity, to the rent. Having said that, the typical visit to an urgent care facility is going to be far cheaper than going to the emergency room. One way to make sure that we’re getting the best price is to make sure that we’re at a genuine urgent care facility and not at an emergency room or clinic connected to the local hospital. Sometimes, throwing “urgent care closest to me” into a map app or search engine won’t turn up a genuine urgent care center and we can end up at a freestanding ER where the expenses may be as much as three times greater.
- Will they take my insurance? This is another important question to ask. One way to find out is to call insurance providers and get a list of included facilities in the general area. We need to know which urgent care closest to me will be in-network for our insurance companies. The good news is that most urgent care centers work hard to make their facilities available to as many people as possible by accepting lots of insurance plans.
- That reputation does the urgent care closest to me have? These days, that’s refreshingly easy to find out. If an urgent care center is providing quality care at reasonable prices while caring for their patients like real people, and not just as numbers or cases, word will get around. It’ll be easy to find out online what people are saying, and asking around the office or the local school can be a great idea, too.
- What kind of services do they offer?It’s never a bad idea to find out what level of care the urgent care closest to me is able to provide, and whether a different clinic might be a smarter choice under certain situations. Do they have board-certified doctors and physician’s assistants on staff? What level of nurses do they attract? Four out of every five centers are able to address fractures; is the urgent care closest to me one of those? Can they do X-rays? Do they have any lab equipment in-house? What level of primary care can they offer when it comes to injuries, illnesses, checkups, preventative medicine, or care for chronic conditions?
- What kind of follow-up care can I get?Ideally, the urgent care closest to me should be able to integrate with both my personal doctor and, if necessary, with a local hospital. If I am treated at the clinic, my doctor should be able to get records and discuss things with them easily. If I have an emergency while there, they should be able to help me get to the hospital and communicate with the emergency room staff. Continuity of care is important, and a good urgent care clinic will make this a priority.
The urgent care closest to me might not be the best one for my needs. To make a decision when need arises, we need to find out the answers to these questions.