Friday, September 14, 2012

Finding a Walk In Clinic to Use When You Need It

No one likes to wait for medical attention. Many people simply choose to forgo it in minor situations (and sometimes situations that aren't so minor) because they know it will entail an endless stay in the waiting room. And if the only alternative is to make a doctor's appointment, you're turning what might be a five or six hour wait into one that could take as long as several weeks. Thankfully, the doctor's appointment isn't the only alternative. In your area, you probably have several facilities that fall right in the middle: the walk in clinic. These places fill a much-needed gap between the ER and the doctor's appointment. Find one now so you can use it when the need arises.
If you have a broken arm or a cold, you don't want to drive across town to get treatment. Therefore, it's important to find a walk in clinic that is conveniently located. Whether you would prefer to have one close to work or home is up to you, but these are considerations worth taking into account. If you have children, you may also want to consider the proximity of the facility to their school. A final thought: you may want to find one near the hospital. You never know when you might visit the doctor for a reason that is more serious than you first thought. If you need to go on to the ER, it helps if it is close by.
A walk in clinic can't do you any good if it's closed when you need it most. Unfortunately, many of these places keep hours that more closely resemble those of a bank than those of a hospital. Make sure you factor their open hours before making a decision. If you get comfortable with one of these facilities and then have to go to the ER anyway because happened to hurt yourself on a Saturday, what was the point? You're not going to find a place that is open 24 hours, 7 days a week, but you should look for the best combination of available hours and convenient location.
An unfortunate reality in our modern health care system is that you have to choose a walk in clinic that will take your insurance. Going outside your network could send your prices skyrocketing. While you're unlikely to encounter the kinds of bills at one of these private facilities that you would at the hospital, the prices are still often too high to pay on your own. Make sure your insurance will be taken at the place you choose.

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