How Healthcare Reform Affects Urgent Care

Now that the big push to get everyone enrolled is over, it’s time to start thinking how our new healthcare program will affect the industry of medicine. In particular, you might wonder how all these new urgent care, or walk-in care, clinics will deal with the change.

Over the last couple years, there has been a big popularity spike with these types of clinics. What you might not realize is these clinics have been sprouting up in anticipation of this healthcare overhaul.

Problems Solved Prior to Healthcare Changes

Without urgent care clinics, emergency rooms at hospitals are the go-to place for people that need immediate medical attention. This creates a huge burden on hospitals. You have people coming in that need attention, but they don’t have a true emergency. The only options were a primary doctor that may have a long wait time to schedule an appointment or the emergency room.

On top of that, the uninsured frequently rely on hospitals. They don’t even have a primary care doctor, so their source for medical attention is the emergency room.

For both the insured and uninsured, cost was an issue as well. The emergency room bill, even the copay, can be ten times more expensive than a primary doctor or urgent care clinic.

Problems Solved After Changes

All of the above solutions are still true. It still relieves the burden on hospitals and is a less expensive option. However, it became another solution as well.

There are obviously a lot more insured people than there were before. This surge will place more of a burden on another medical service: primary care. There simply aren’t enough primary care doctors to handle every illness and injury in a timely manner. These newly insured can get the quality care they need at their local urgent care clinic.

What the Future Looks Like

With more people able to access the medical attention they need, we can expect to see more urgent care clinics in our communities. They fill a needed void and provide more options for people. It’s about time we had a healthcare solution designed to make the customer happy and healthy.