The family care clinic is growing in popularity; more and more families are making it their first choice for convenient medical care. If you're looking for a place to get medical care that won't empty your pocketbook or leave you waiting in line all day, a family clinic can be a great alternative.
These clinics provide care for the entire family, giving you a one-stop shop for your medical needs. Here's why you might be interested in checking out a family care clinic near you.
1. They're a Better Choice Than Visiting an ER
In many communities, doctors are very busy and can't always take appointments as quickly as you might want. If you suspect your child has strep throat, for example, you don't want to wait three days to take him or her to your family doctor. But you might also want to avoid the emergency room because ERs tend to be very expensive and the wait times can be substantial.
In situations like these, family care clinics are a great alternative. They provide you the same type of one-on-one attention you'd get from a family doctor, but you can get an appointment the day you need it. Family care clinics are typically set up for nonemergency appointments, like colds, the flu, minor procedures, cuts and bruises, small burns, or skin infections.
2. They Provide High-Quality Care for Less
Family clinics offer many benefits. They take walk-ins for nonemergency cases. They may also serve as a good place to go for follow-ups after hospital and ER visits, especially if you don't have a family doctor. Here are some other benefits that these clinics offer:
- They treat patients of all ages.
- Some have specialty clinics with pharmacies and even general surgery options.
- They can evaluate many medical issues and offer EKGs, X-rays, blood labs, and more.
- Many have extended hours that cover more time than family practices, staying open later at night.
- You may save money by having a lower copay than an ER.
- The wait times are less than ERs. What may take four hours at an ER will likely involve a 30-minute wait at an urgent care clinic.
- Some family clinics even have psychiatrists and dentists on staff.
Of course, family care clinics aren't perfect. Sometimes you'll be seen by a nurse practitioner instead of a doctor — however, some patients prefer this. The main disadvantage is that most family care clinics aren't open 24/7, even if they do offer extended hours. So if you need help at 2 a.m., you may still have to visit the ER. They may also take walk-ins on a first-come, first-served basis. So if you don't have an appointment, you may want to arrive close to the time they open to ensure that you're seen.
3. They're Technologically Modern
Since family care clinics are a newer addition to community health care options, they're more likely to offer all the technological conveniences that you've come to enjoy. For example, they may let you schedule appointments online. They may even have a patient portal so you can check up on your records and test results after an appointment.
4. They're a Good Option for Those Without Health Insurance
Family care clinics often accept many types of health insurance, but they're also a good option if you're uninsured. If you don't have insurance, you'll often be charged on a sliding scale based on your income. Some clinics even have price caps for those without insurance, so you can know that a procedure or visit won't cost any more than a specified amount. This can make a big difference if you're trying to stay within a specific budget.
If you don't have a family doctor, or if you've been looking for a place to go in the evenings, then consider visiting a family care clinic. You can always call ahead to find out if they accept your insurance and what the pricing scale is for those without insurance. With quick appointments, online scheduling, and flexibility to see people of all ages, a family care clinic may be the best solution for a busy family.