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Old 06-22-2013, 05:08 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
I was under the impression urgent care clinics were increasingly dealing with many of the issues seen in emergency care (and where payment was assured). That may only be the case in higher density areas where the population is large enough to justify the investment. We have nearby facilities that will take x-rays and do some blood and other lab work, which seems a very good option for someone in need of treatment but wanting to avoid the hospital emergency room.

I do think they are good options. I used one when I cut my brow as I mentioned and it was a great option. On the other hand, that was during the day and was an urgent care clinic that did treat injuries. However, the urgent care clinic that is closest to me which also treats some injuries closes at 8 PM on weekdays and 4 PM on weekends so isn't an option for things that happen outside those hours.

On the other hand, I think many people lump together urgent care which usually does treat injuries versus the clinics like they have in some grocery stores which don't treat injuries. And I certainly don't know offhand which ones do what without inquiring. There are some stand alone places that are more like those in the grocery store and they don't handle things like cuts versus those that are more like minor emergency rooms.

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Old 06-22-2013, 05:50 PM   #22
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With the urgent clinics it really depends. I know the cvs centers at least in Massachusetts have pretty strict limits on what the nurse practitioners can treat AND how they can treat the problem they diagnose. They are not given a lot of choice in what they can prescribe. If you have diagnosis x you get med y unless you are allergic. Period. I was shocked when an NP told me this. Diagnosis is an art as well as a science but so is prescribing. Having said this I totally agree that we all should try to stay out of emergency rooms if at all possible.

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Old 06-22-2013, 06:10 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
Who goes to the emergency room when they have the option of getting treatment from their own doctor, a nearby walk-in care center or (gulp) Wal-Mart clinic? Emergency room for me means something that needs critical attention and is a place to avoid if at all possible.
What issues do you go to these places for? I have insurance, I find myself once or twice a year in the emergency room with stomach issues where I'm vomiting and unable to hold down water or food, leading to dehydration, etc. I go to the emergency room in these situations. I never knew much about the bills until my last visit, since my mom handled them until I turned 18.

Is that the type of thing I could go to those places for? What resources do they have and how long do they let you stay? I am usually in the emergency room for awhile, if I'm admitted it's about a week, if not it's one night in the emergency room.
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Old 06-22-2013, 08:09 PM   #24
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I really have no knowledge of things like grocery store clinics and the like. Never saw one and never even heard of one. Walk-in clinics, yes. As someone posted, I figured those places were there to serve people that had no health care insurance.
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Old 06-22-2013, 09:05 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Arifriekinel View Post
What issues do you go to these places for?
I'm sure each 'chain' has their corporate rules, but my rule of thumb would be that all the 'store within a store' clinics are pretty much medication prescribers and gauze wrappers. Most things involving needles (stitching, drug delivery, etc.) would probably need to be handled by an urgent care center.

I tried going to a Walgreen's clinic when I had a very bad case of poison ivy needing a steroid shot. I called them and asked ahead of time, and they said that they wouldn't be able to help. Granted, it might have been because it involved a steroid shot, but that's the general feeling I've had from the few trips I've made to the store-within-a-store concepts (flu/serious sinus infection that I needed antibiotics for).
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Old 06-22-2013, 10:16 PM   #26
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Many of the hospitals in Chicago have opened up several "Immediate Care" facilities, usually open 12 hours a day, which I think is really smart--frees up their emergency rooms for the life threatening crises and easier to use than calling your doctor's office for the next available appointment when you've whacked your leg with a rock from the lawn mower (the last visit we made to an emergency room). And then you're already in the system if they think you need to get to the hospital. I imagine other urban areas have done the same.

Our insurance copays are $20 for doctor's office, $35 for urgent care (I think "immediate care" would fit this) and $65 for emergency room. We've not had to go beyond the doctor's office visit for a long time.
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:35 AM   #27
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Our little suburban town has a doctor owned clinic staffed with GPs with on-site x-ray, ultrasound equipment and a small lab. You can make an appointment or just walk in. I've found no difference in wait times, which are usually in the 20 minute range. I tend to use them far more than my big hospital affiliated satellite office, which will quote you a next appointment available time in days, when you really want to see a doctor now.

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