The top 5 reasons urgent care is right for Massachusetts Now

On June 2nd, we will be bringing the second AFC Urgent Care to Massachusetts right here in Braintree. Some of you may have already seen the articles in the papers. And some of you may already have experience with urgent care in other states. Or may even remember when urgent care gained a nominal foothold here in Massachusetts for a short time years ago.

Since those days, urgent care has predominantly receded into obscurity in our hospital systems and a handful of mom and pop centers. But now, the time has never been more right for urgent care to take hold here in Massachusetts. Here are five reasons we believe urgent care is here to stay:

1. Urgent Care is a financial relief in this bad economy.

Last year, Money Magazine stated that healthcare costs for the average American family increased 7.3%. In our own state it’s worse. Massachusetts healthcare costs have risen by double digits in each of the last ten years.

When patients choose urgent care as an alternative to the emergency room for non-emergencies, their co-pays can be as much as 70% off the co-pay for an emergency room visit. They can also expect to save at least that much on their overall bill, saving them on their unmet deductible.

2. Urgent Care doesn’t keep busy families waiting.

An article in the Boston Globe last year showed that wait times to see a doctor in Massachusetts were up again. The Mass. Medical Association stated that it now takes 24 days on average to see a pediatrician. The waits to see a family doctor, orthopedist or ob/gyn all increased as well.

The promise of AFC urgent care is to deliver a quality healthcare experience in as timely manner as possible. On average, our patients are being seen by a doctor in about 25 minutes and out the door in under an hour. So you get in, get out and get back on your way.

3. Urgent Care means better access to top Mass. Doctors

In the same Boston Globe article, it was found that it is harder than ever to be seen by a primary physician. More than half of all primary physicians aren’t taking on new patients. That doesn’t always leave you with access to the best doctors.

At AFC we have only experienced, board-certified physicians on site at all times. So no matter when you come in, or what kind of acute care you need, you know you’ll be in good hands.

4. Urgent Care makes our whole healthcare system better.

An article in the NY Times showed that due to increased demand and financial strains, over a quarter of our countries ERs have closed down over the last two decades from 2,446 down to 1,779. This horrifying statistic is made only worse by the fact that while ER departments are vanishing, the number of visits have increased by roughly 35% over that same period.

Other studies show that in many cases, close to half of patients visiting the ER were not there for true emergency needs. Overcrowding that leads to long waits and unnecessary strains on our Emergency Rooms will be avoided when other options like AFC urgent care are available to patients needing acute care, but going to the ER.

5. Urgent Care is the right care at the right time.

There is a national and statewide movement to improve healthcare by changing the way Insurance Carriers compensate Healthcare Providers. These plans would evolve the current fee for service agreement to an agreement that rewards hospitals and other providers for attaining certain goals based on the quality of service and delivering more affordable care.

Urgent Care can be a driving force behind these changes. It’s a healthcare model that can have a significant positive impact for patients in the areas of accessibility and affordability. By putting experienced, board certified physicians in state of the art facilities that sit right in our communities, we can deliver faster, more affordable quality care.

While there are a whole list of reasons we believe urgent care is right for Massachusetts these are our top picks. We invite you to share your own urgent care experiences with fellow readers who may still have questions. We believe that the faster Massachusetts adopts AFC urgent care the better our whole healthcare system will become.