Urgent Care Centers Offer Alternative to Crowded EDs
Urgent care centers in the Fresno-Clovis area are growing in popularity for patients who cannot obtain a doctor's appointment or do not want to wait in an emergency department, the Fresno Bee reports.
The Urgent Care Association of America said new centers are emerging each week to help meet growing patient demand, fueled in part by lengthening wait times at EDs, according to the Bee.
The centers do not offer long-term management of chronic conditions, although many have on-site laboratories and X-ray machines. Most centers accept walk-ins and remain open on nights and weekends.
According to the association, the centers are less expensive for patients and insurers for non-critical care. Most will only accept uninsured patients with advance payment and do not accept patients in Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program.
Debbie Donahue, office administrator for Central California Urgent Center in Fresno, said cash-paying patients can expect to pay about $140 for an office visit (Correa, Fresno Bee, 1/27).