Immediate care centers evolved in the 90’s out of a need from patients who didn’t have access to their primary care physician (PCP) at convenient times. A large appeal for these facilities is that no appointments are necessary for being seen and while they seem convenient, the truth is that they’re overcrowded and the nurses and doctors are overworked. When it comes down to it, our office functions the same way an urgent care center does. Our patients have the flexibility to schedule a same-day sick appointment with our convenient hours.
We know that addressing health concerns for you and your family is your biggest responsibility. Below, we provide 4 reasons why you should see your PCP before considering going to an immediate care facility.
Long Wait Times Lead To Longer Suffering
At any given time, the wait at an immediate care center can be 2+ hours, which negates the “immediate” in immediate care. If they’re maxed out, you could be asked to check in and come back in two hours when they’ll be able to get to you. This leads to you suffering longer than necessary when you could make an appointment with your PCP and get on the road to recovery much faster.
Regardless of the above, Business Insider Intelligence research shows that 45% of millennials don’t have a primary care physician and are driving much of the urgent care business. This usually happens because when kids transition from their pediatrician, they often aren’t prepared to navigate their own healthcare needs. Because all of our physician’s are dual-board certified pediatricians and internists, we accept patients of all ages and teens can transition into adult care with the same physician.
When you’re not feeling well, the last thing you want to do is spend hours waiting to get looked at when you should be resting at home.
Urgent Care Doctors Aren’t Familiar With Your Medical History
When you go to urgent care centers, you’ll be seen by a doctor, if not a nurse practitioner or physician assistant, who isn’t familiar with your medical history. As such, they can only address your condition at the surface level and they aren’t necessarily personally invested in your wellbeing like your PCP is.
That is one of the distinguishing factors of IMPA. We truly care about investing in our patients’ health and their life outside of our office. Every time you come in for an appointment, you’ll see the same nurse and doctor to provide continuity of care. This helps us establish and maintain a personal relationship between our staff and patients.
If you or someone in your family has a chronic condition, it is vitally important that you always see your PCP for care outside of emergency situations. This ensures that even minor illnesses or injury can be addressed with any underlying conditions taken into account.
Immediate Care Centers Cost More
Many insurance companies require a higher co-pay for urgent care centers because urgent care centers are typically corporate owned and have much higher overhead costs. They also charge more because these facilities treat patients on an urgent basis and they have to staff and maintain all equipment that might be needed to diagnose conditions even though all of those resources might not be used for an individual visit.
This adds up to the average cost of an urgent care visit coming out to be $150. Depending on what insurance you carry and the type of appointment you come in for, our average payment is considerably less since all we require is a co-payment. Time and costs favor PCP visits over urgent care centers every time.
Urgent Care Centers Have Limited Resources
These facilities have standard diagnostic resources like imaging and lab equipment to run tests for strep and the flu, but overall, when compared to your PCPs office, they don’t have the resources, time, and medical history knowledge to best address your health concerns. For our established patients, we do everything we can to keep their care in-house. This includes all tests and routine care needs like flu shots. In the instance that our patients do need to see a specialist, it is our priority to provide a referral and expedite their care.
If it is not an emergency situation, making an appointment with your primary care doctor pays off every time. At IM&PA, we pride ourselves on maintaining personal relationships with our patients and providing the best care in the greater Louisville area. If you’re looking for a primary care physician near you, fill out our contact us form or call us at 502.241.5083 to schedule a new patient appointment.