OMAHA(KPTM)-More than three million people visit urgent care centers across the nation each week. As that number grows, major players in the industry have announced plans to grow by providing more facilities.
According to the Urgent Care Association of America, in 2012, 160 million patients visited an urgent care facility. That's more than twice as many as in 2005 when 76 million visits were reported.
Tracy Jenkins is a nurse practitioner at Rockbrook Urgent Care. Jenkins says that over the past few months, she's definitely seen more patients. Jenkins adds that patients aren't just coming in for emergencies any more because many urgent care facilities offer specialized services like radiology and lab work.
According to 2010 data from Medica Choice Network Claims, the cost of treating common complaints like allergies, a sore throat or earache on average will cost you three to five times more to go to the emergency room.
Even though it may often be more cost effective , urgent care isn't always an option."If in doubt. If you're thinking it's a life-threatening emergency then you should always go to the ER. But you can always come here and let us take a look. Even if it's a fracture, we can actually manage a fracture and make sure you can get to an orthopedic surgeon if you need to," said Jenkins.
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