It’s the weekend and you’re not feeling so hot. In fact, you feel terrible and can’t stand the thought of suffering through an entire weekend of torture before calling your family doctor on Monday. Yet, it is not an emergency, so the Emergency Room is out. Lucky for you, you can drop by a walk-in clinic. Walk-in clinics, or convenient care clinics, have a wide array of benefits associated with them. Since a massive growth spurt in the 1990’s, they’ve been on the rise due to an over-stressed health industry, amounting to over 1450 individual clinics in total for the United States. So what kind of benefits led to this kind of rise?
First things first, patients love convenience. Instead of leaving their health to chance over a weekend, someone who’s sick can simply drop on by for an appointment. Most clinics are open for 12 hours during the week and 8 hours during the weekend. This helps to lower the overall number of deaths occurring from self-prescription per year since now people will have a more healthy option. Adding to a convenient experience is the fact that most retail clinics also have the needed medications (if any) for their patients in store.
Another great benefit of walk-in clinics is cost. In general, clinic visits are around 80% cheaper than making a frantic trip to the ER. You’ll be grateful when your wallet isn’t light as a feather. In fact, certain insurance companies have even waived copays to get patients to go through this alternate route. Some newer insurance plans don’t even have a clinic visit copay!
The third and maybe most obvious benefit of walk-in clinics is the improvement in health of the general population. This can lead to greater longevity on a more massive scale and can also be helpful in preventing the spread of the common cold or contagious diseases. Instead of having to endure the pain and hope for the best, patients have a new way to seek health care.
Boasting of convenience, lower costs, and improvement in health, walk-in clinics provide a vital service to citizens, and their popularity is on the rise.