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Urgent care centers help alleviate pressure of health reform
05.15.2012Urgent care benefits may play an important role in a post-reform healthcare system. Experts say primary care resources are likely to be stretched thin. Standalone medical facilities could help by providing many of the services of primary care offices on a more flexible schedule.
In the past, urgent care facilities were largely focused on treating non-emergency injuries. This included things like sprained ankles and sinus infections. However, in recent years, these providers have started offering more preventive health services like cholesterol screenings and general checkups.
This trend is emerging at just the right time. Experts have estimated that the Affordable Care Act may provide about 30 million people with health insurance. Moreover, some provisions of the reform laws try to steer patients toward primary care. This is happening at a time when the family physician workforce is already strained.
By offering preventive health services in addition to immediate care, urgent care centers may help the healthcare system sustain the headwinds that are currently threatening to blow down primary care medicine.
"It is anticipated that urgent care will become a major component of providing medical care to Americans, as access to basic care becomes increasingly limited and an estimated 30 million plus uninsured Americans seek access to affordable, consistent medical care," said Dr. Robert Graw, an attendee of the recent national conference of the Urgent Care Association of America.
He added that major changes are taking place in the field of urgent care. This evolution is resulting in major benefits for patients, who now have many more care options, and the urgent care industry, which has experienced significant growth over the last few years.
Categories: Urgent Care Services
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