If you have broken a bone, experienced an allergic reaction or just can’t shake those sniffles, a long wait at a hospital emergency room doesn’t have to be in your future. Urgent care centers are providing a convenient, cost-effective and high-quality alternative for treating non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses.
“We have the same physicians and the same equipment as you might see at an E.R., but without the potential hassle,” says Faisal Ashraf, Chief Operating Officer with Pulse-MD Urgent Care. “Just about anything and everything can be treated here, from administering flu shots and strep tests for strep throat to setting broken bones or even suturing a finger.”
Just the thought of waiting to be seen by a doctor at an emergency room is enough to make anybody feel a little queasy. Then the big bill at the end of the visit can add insult to injury. An urgent care option often saves time and money while also leaving the E.R. free to handle more serious situations.
“We’re not replacing an E.R.,” explains Ashraf. “We like to say that we are one step below the E.R. but a step above a regular doctor’s office.”
Certified by the Urgent Care Association of America, Pulse-MD Urgent Care is a one-stop shop that not only offers prompt care for common non-life-threatening illnesses, injuries, and conditions, but also diagnostic, screening, and laboratory services.
One of the big advantages of urgent care centers is their ability to see patients quickly. At Pulse-MD Urgent Care, the average wait is 10 to 15 minutes.
Ashraf points out, “The quicker you get here and start treatment, the quicker we can stop the pain and start the healing. In our setting, shortening the time shortens the stress level, which can improve results. Even if it’s just the flu, the longer you wait, the more likely that it can turn into something worse.”
Urgent care centers such as Pulse-MD Urgent Care provide walk-in, extended hour access for treatment any day of the year, and they are often located right in the communities they serve. Pulse-MD Urgent Care opened its first facility in Wappingers Falls in 2011, a second facility in Mahopac in 2013, and is looking to open at least 10 more locations in the region at a pace of perhaps one per year.
“We like to take the urgent care into the neighborhoods rather than people traveling into the city,” explains Ashraf. “We know there’s a need for this type of convenient, quality care.”
Don’t believe it? Just ask the moms who make up a large part of an urgent care center’s clientele. “Moms love urgent care!” says Ashraf. “We give them peace of mind to know that they can come here with their child, hurry in and get definite answers and assistance before they leave.”
Young professionals are another large demographic, making urgent care centers their go-to facility for a life on the go.
As for the cost, it’s likely that you’ll end up paying lower co-pays at an urgent care center. Hospitals spend a lot of money to support the equipment and staff required by an E.R., and patients usually face two separate charges – one from the E.R. and one from the physician providing the treatment.
“Since Pulse-MD Urgent Care is physician-owned and not affiliated with any big hospital, there is no facility fee, which cuts the cost in half right there,” says Ashraf.
There are even some instances where a health plan won’t help to pay anything for an E.R. visit if the situation is found to be a non-emergency.
Along with providing the potential for saving time and money, urgent care centers often offer a much more inviting — even upscale — atmosphere. At Pulse-MD Urgent Care, “we like to make you as comfortable as possible, with coffee and TVs in each room,” Ashraf says. “It’s just more personable.”
If you’re not sure whether to go to an emergency room or urgent care center, ask your primary doctor for guidance or simply call an urgent care center in your neighborhood.
5 cases when urgent care centers could be the best option:
Broken bones and sprains
A cough, sore throat, ear infection, fever or flu-like symptoms
5 cases when an emergency room visit makes sense:
Chest or abdominal pain
A head injury or other major trauma
Pulse-MD Urgent Care (pulse-mdurgentcare.com) has two locations:
900 Route 376, Suite H?
Wappingers Falls, NY 12590
?Hours: Daily, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
572 Route 6
Mahopac?, NY 10541
?Hours: Mon.-Fri., 12-8 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Pulse-MD Urgent Care provides prompt medical care for non-life-threatening injuries or illnesses as an alternative to your primary care doctor or the emergency room. In most cases, we provide shorter wait times and lower costs. Visit pulse-mdurgentcare.com or call 845-204-9260 (Wappingers Falls) or 845-621-3100 (Mahopac).
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