Is Minute Clinic Considered Urgent Care ?
Here’s the good news: When it comes to receiving medical care, consumers now have more options than ever before. Gone are the days of waiting to get an appointment with your primary care physician, or, when that fails, heading to the emergency room with a minor ear infection, and then being hit with a horrendous bill.
The not-so-good news is that many consumers are not taking advantage of these other treatment options because they are confused by the services offered at each. In this article we’ll take a look at the very popular Minute Clinic and discuss whether or not this is considered urgent care.
What is a Minute Clinic?
A Minute Clinic is a retail clinic that offers certain medical services through CVS Health. Usually you can find these clinics within the CVS retail stores near the pharmacy area. These clinics offer convenience to consumers who come in with minor illnesses and injuries. Some may also offer preventative measures including vaccinations and health screenings.
Minute Clinics Benefits
Minute Clinics offer consumers many benefits. To start, they offer flexible hours, making it easy for people to visit when it’s convenient for them. They are open seven days a week, 365 days a year. For people who work Monday through Friday, or just have limited free time, this convenience is priceless.
These clinics are sometimes called “walk-in” clinics because you can simply walk in and be seen. No appointment is necessary. And wait times are typically very short, in fact, as little as 15 or 20 minutes. You don’t get seen that quickly in your doctor’s office or an emergency room.
At a Minute Clinic, you will likely be seen by a physicians’ assistant or a nurse practitioner. They will be able to order tests, take your medical history, and prescribe medications.
As for cost, Minute Clinics are much more affordable than emergency rooms and often more affordable then a visit to your own doctor, who may charge an office visit fee of $100 to $300 right off the bat. To check pricing of a Minute Clinic near you, call them to ask or check the published Price List at the CVS site. Prices are also posted at each clinic.
This transparent pricing means consumers are never shocked when they receive the bill. To fully understand what you can expect to pay out-of-pocket, contact your insurance provider and ask which services are covered by your plan.
Minute Clinic Drawbacks
As convenient as these clinics are, they treat a small and limited list of minor illnesses, which we covered previously. You wouldn’t, for example, go to a Minute Clinic with a cut finger or a broken ankle.
And, though nurse practitioners and physician assistants are competent medical professionals, it is sometimes necessary to be seen by a board-certified physician.
Finally, there is limited equipment in these clinics. There are no X-ray machines, lab testing or CT scans.