Convenient care is a new model of healthcare that combines urgent care and emergency care services at the same facility. Patients are directed to the most suitable service for their medical problems on arrival. While life-threatening cases go to the emergency room, most minor injuries and illnesses can be treated at urgent care. This hybrid model offers greater convenience to patients and their families, as well as lower medical costs overall. It also eases the burden placed on emergency services due to heavy demand.
A hybrid model of healthcare
Convenient care is a hybrid model of healthcare that combines emergency and urgent care medical services at the same location. Patients who arrive at the facility are directed to the service that is best suited to their condition. Patients and their families no longer have to try and decide if they have a medical emergency, because a convenient care facility will see both and bill them according to the service provided.
The hybrid model of healthcare has many advantages, including taking the pressure off emergency services. The total number of emergency visits has been spiraling and is now around 110 million each year. This number has actually increased by 22% in the last ten years. This results in a heavy burden on emergency services, and higher costs overall for medical care.
The cost of emergency treatment v. urgent care
A large percentage of Americans use emergency rooms and the 24/7access to healthcare that they provide as their primary health service. Not only does this place a heavy burden on emergency services, it raises the cost of medical care. That?s because emergency room services cost significantly more than urgent care.
A study carried out by the Rand Corporation in 2009 found that anywhere from 14 to 27% of all emergency room cases could also have been treated at urgent care. This would have saved as much as $4.4 billion in health costs each year. Hybrid medical facilities like convenient care centers that combine urgent care and emergency services at the same location offer a solution to high cost of emergency room care.
What do Urgent Care centers treat?
Urgent care centers can treat most minor injuries and illnesses, including sports injuries, wounds and lacerations, cuts, flu, fever and colds, stomach ache, dizziness and sprained ankles. The convenience of urgent care centers meets the growing demand for accessible primary healthcare services. At the present time, there are about 20,000 urgent care physicians.
For any life-threatening conditions, patients should be brought to the emergency room. Urgent care centers can treat most other medical problems. Having both emergency and urgent care medical services at the same location makes it easier patients and their families. They don?t have to make the stressful decision over whether to go to emergency services or to walk in urgent care. Once they arrive at the facility, they will be directed to the appropriate service. They will also be billed according to the service provided.
The hybrid model of healthcare services offers emergency and urgent care services at the same location. While nearly all minor injuries and illnesses can be treated at urgent care, life-threatening conditions like stroke and heart attack will be brought to the emergency room. This takes the pressure of heavy demand off emergency medical services. It also lowers the cost of medical treatment by directing cases to urgent care whenever appropriate.