Urgent Care Directory USA and Canada
What is Urgent Care?
Urgent care is the delivery of ambulatory care in a facility dedicated to the delivery of medical care outside of a hospital emergency department, usually on an unscheduled, walk-in basis. Urgent care centers are primarily used to treat patients who have an injury or illness that requires immediate care but is not serious enough to warrant a visit to an emergency room
What type of facilities provide same day visits or Urgent Care?
Same day medical office visits can occur at urgent care centers, private walk in doctors, same day clinics, convenience / retail clinics (usually staffed by nurses and physician assistants, not doctors) and concierge type medical practices. The type of services offered at these various offices can differ from place to place so it is best to phone ahead and inquire as to whether they can assist you with your problem. For example, while all could assist you with a sore throat or ear ache, retail clinics do not help patients with lacerations or minor fractures where urgent care centers would usually be equipped to assist with these type of problems.
How can I locate a facility that provides Urgent Care?
To locate a facility offering Urgent Care you can begin here on this web site and go to our search urgent care page. Although our list is not complete we are constantly adding new urgent care clinics, same day doctor's offices and retail clinic listings. Additional sources to help locate urgent care centers would include the internet, your private doctors office, yellow pages or local emergency rooms.
What are some of the health problems that can be taken care of at an Urgent Care?
Some examples of some health problems taken care of by Urgent Care centers include laceration repairs, wounds, injuries, strains and sprains, minor burns, cold, cough, flu, urinary infections, diarrhea and other infections and illnesses. For most minor illnesses that need immediate medical attention, urgent care centers are a great choice.
Why would I want to go to an Urgent Care as opposed to an emergency room?
For severe life threatening conditions such as chest pain, severe burns, seizures, fainting and severe abdominal pain it is best to dial 911 and go to your nearest emergency room.
For you require immediate care for health problems that do not require the emergency room, urgent cares usually have shorter waits and are less expensive.
How much does it cost to visit an Urgent Care?
Urgent Care co pays for most insurance plans are lower than Emergency Room co pays and many insurance companies have no co pay whatsoever for Urgent Care visits. The fee for an initial visit to most Urgent Care centers is less than 1/4th the cost of an Emergency Room visit. However, there may be additional charges for medications, medical supplies, lab work, X-rays, EKG's, surgical procedures and various other services.
Do Urgent Care facilities accept insurance?
Most Urgent Care clinics do accept insurance but it is best to call ahead to confirm.
Do I have to have insurance to visit an Urgent Care?
No, most Urgent Care Centers cash and credit cards. Some may accept other methods of payment so it is always best to call ahead and inquire as to what forms of payment are accepted.
Do I have to be "in-network" to visit an Urgent Care?
No. If you are trying to se your insurance as payment, you do not have to be "in network". However, out of network benefits will apply and co pays and other expenses are usually higher if you are out of network.
Do I have to make an appointment prior to visiting an Urgent Care?
No, no appointment is needed to visit an Urgent Care Clinic.
What are the hours of operation of Urgent Care?
Most Urgent Care Clinics offer extended hours of operation including morning, evening, weekend and holiday hours. Please contact the specific facility for exact hours of operation.
Are Urgent Care facilities open on weekends and holidays?
The majority of Urgent Care Centers offer extended hours of operation for your convenience. Please contact the specific facility for exact hours of operation.
How long will I wait at the Urgent Care?
Urgent Care Center patients are generally treated on a first-come, first-served basis. Although Urgent Care Clinics do their best to see you as quickly as possible, your wait depends on how many patients are there before you. However, almost always the wait is much less than in an emergency room.