The medical options available to people who need care have never been wider, but it's also never been more confusing. Whereas people used to have a family doctor who took care of everything, except for prescriptions dispensed by a neighborhood pharmacist, now people have doctors, physician assistants, medical assistants, several levels of nursing professionals, urgent care, walk-in clinics, clinic networks, private practices, telemedicine, and so on. Most people have a specific doctor that they tend to see, but they can see others if needed. One of those options is a walk-in clinic, which may sound like it's not needed if you already have a regular doctor, but these walk-in clinics provide services that benefit you in ways your doctor's office can't.
Your doctor's office might have appointment times reserved each day for people who need same-day attention, but those can fill up quickly -- and the open times are usually gone if need an appointment at the last minute in the afternoon. Yet walk-in clinics usually have time all day long and often into the evening. Many walk-in clinics are associated with drug stores, so available hours can be plentiful. You can't make an appointment, but you can call and find out current wait times and then go at a point when wait times aren't that huge. With your regular doctor's office, you'd have to wait until the next morning to try calling for one of those same-day appointments.
Lower Costs (That May Still Count Toward Your Deductible)
Walk-in clinics are generally pretty affordable in terms of cost. Your doctor's office might charge a couple hundred dollars for an office visit, but the walk-in clinic's cost could be substantially lower. And before you mention insurance, current insurance policies often pay for a few initial appointments. But if you've hit your limit on that or you have a huge co-pay or coinsurance amount to contribute, your insurance policy may leave you with a substantial bill. The lower costs at a walk-in clinic could be easier to handle and may even count toward your deductible.
Your doctor has one location, or if you see a doctor who's part of a network of clinics, you might have access to a few locations to choose from. But walk-in clinics likely dot your city, with different clinics available in shopping centers and commercial complexes. If you need to see someone quickly, you don't have to drive long distances in traffic after work -- you can find a nearby clinic instead.
Walk-in clinics let you see someone for minor medical issues quickly and at a more affordable price. You should have a regular doctor that you see for most medical needs, but keep the phone numbers of a few walk-in clinics handy. You never know when you'll need them. Reach out to a walk-in clinic such as MED7 Urgent Care Center to learn more.