Why Is Urgent Care So Important?

Written By: AFC Urgent Care

The healthcare system is more confusing than ever.  Amid a new government administration there are a lot of unanswered questions about where our healthcare system is heading.  In network, out of network, covered service or not; it’s all enough to make you feel sick!  However, you can select treatment at an Urgent Care Center of your choice for those unexpected illnesses or injuries.  This not only saves you time but money.  Having the knowledge before you need medical care is important and the information below hopefully eases some confusion about when to use Urgent Care or your primary care physician or the emergency room.

We should all have a primary care provider. They are for preventative care.  They conduct your annual exam, manage any medications you may be taking on a regular basis and refer you to any specialists.  Most insurance companies require you to have a PCP (primary care provider) and if you change physicians, you’ll want to notify your insurance company to ensure they are an accepted network provider.  Your primary care physician practices medicine to prevent illnesses and the ER treats life threatening issues like heart attack, stroke or severe head trauma. 

So, what is Urgent Care?  Urgent Care is medical care provided by Certified Medical Staff that fills the gap between your primary care physician and the emergency room.   Visiting the ER for non-emergeny issues can also expose you to other illnesses and be very challenging for anyone suffering from Alzheimer’s or other dementia. 

At AFC Urgent Care in New Bedford, we treat everything from the common cold, stitches, broken bones and everything in between.  It is often difficult to get an appointment with your PCP for these types of issues so Urgent Care is a great alternative to make sure you’re seen timely. 

Urgent Care centers are open 7 days a week for extended hours for the patient’s convenience.  Most Urgent Care centers accept insurance and cash payments.  AFC Urgent Care in New Bedford accepts most insurances including MassHealth, has a self-pay program and accepts Medicare.  Not all Urgent Care centers accept Medicare, so this is an important factor to consider.  Your visit will be about 25% of the cost of an ER visit and is comparable to a visit to your primary care physician except for higher co-pays at a PCP office.  A typical Urgent Care co-pay is between $30 – $50.  You also have the choice of which Urgent Care facility you visit.  It does not matter if your primary care physician belongs to a healthcare group; YOU have patient choice.

Some other examples of why you visit an Urgent Care facility would be:

▪ Sprains/strains

▪ Wounds requiring stitches

▪ X-ray & lab

▪ Eye irritation

▪ Flu/colds

▪ Cough

▪ Sore throat

▪ Urinary tract infection

▪ Skin rashes

▪ Immunizations

After being treated at Urgent Care you will receive a copy of your record so that you may follow-up with your primary care physician.  You’ll want to continue to see your primary care physician for routine care, management of medication, referrals to specialists and preventative care.  If you are experiencing any signs of heart attack or stroke, severe change in vision, a severe head injury or bleeding profusely, always dial 911 and seek emergency treatment.

Utilizing Urgent Care cuts down on the excess patient counts in the emergency room and allows them to provide the services they are intended. This eliminates over-crowded waiting rooms and high costs that affects everyone from using the ER as a source for non-life-threatening issues. 

If you have any questions about the services, we provide at AFC Urgent Care in New Bedford please call 508-990-1900 and our staff will be happy to assist you.  n

AFC Urgent Care in New Bedford is in the Market Basket Plaza at 119 Coggeshall Street, New Bedford, MA.  They are open Monday through Friday 8 am to 8 pm and Saturday and Sunday 8 am to 5 pm.