A 24 hour clinic is a relatively new alternative to an emergency room or a traditional healthcare clinic. These clinics are similar to urgent care centers, but they offer even more generous hours than those clinics. If you are in a car accident, you may want to head to a 24 hour clinic. Here’s a look at what these clinics offer and how they work.
Should You Go to a 24 Hour Clinic or an Emergency Room?
Emergency rooms are designed to help in emergencies. If you have been shot or stabbed, an emergency room is the best option. Similarly, if you have suffered serious injuries such as a broken leg, bone sticking out of tissue, or spinal injuries due to a car accident, you should also go to an emergency room. If someone is unconscious or unresponsive, they should also go to an emergency room.
However, when you have minor injuries such as back pain, muscle strains, a minor fracture, or other injuries that are not life threatening, a 24 hour clinic may be a better option. The lines tend to be a lot shorter. While you may wait for hours in an emergency room, the wait at a 24 hour clinic is often less than an hour.
What’s the Difference Between an Emergency Room and a 24 Hour Clinic?
As explained above, emergency rooms are best for emergencies. They have the staff and equipment on hand to do lifesaving procedures. But that is not the only difference. By law emergency rooms are required to treat everyone. As a result, emergency rooms tend to see people who don’t have insurance, and by extension, these departments have to deal with a lot of unpaid bills. That drives up their costs. If you don’t have insurance, an emergency room may be your best option. But if you have coverage and you want to avoid high co-pays and long waits, a 24 hour clinic is probably better for you.
A 24 hour clinic is just like a regular doctor’s clinic. In most cases, the administrative staff will ask for proof of insurance. They may not be able to treat you without insurance, but that varies from clinic to clinic. Some clinics are willing to bill patients later or may take them on a sliding scale.
Why Should You Choose a 24 Hour Clinic Instead of a Traditional Clinic?
Because there are so many similarities between a 24 hour clinic and a traditional medical clinic, you may be wondering why you should go to a 24 hour clinic. Well, most traditional healthcare clinics require you to make an appointment in advance, and they often schedule weeks or even months into the future. In contrast, you can simply walk into a 24 hour clinic at any time of the day or night and get the care you need.
If you have been in a car accident, navigating the medical world can be confusing. We can help.
At 1-800-WE-TREAT, we put patients in touch with medical professionals and legal help after car accidents. To learn more, contact us today.