What are urgent care centers? Do I need a referral?

Answer: 

Getting care from an urgent care center is usually less expensive than a visit to the Emergency Room. Unlike most clinics and doctor’s offices, urgent care centers, or walk-in clinics, have extended hours. And, you may save time and money using an urgent care clinic.

Whether you need a referral depends on your health plan. Call your primary care provider and if their office is closed, the answering service will connect to you someone that can help you.

Urgent Care Centers are staffed with family, pediatric, ER and internal medicine doctors. They treat certain conditions right away.

Retail Health Clinics are often found in a major pharmacy or retail store and will have physician assistants and nurse practitioners onsite.

Walk-in Doctors’ Offices are usually family practice doctors who can treat many urgent care issues even if you’re not a regular patient.

Always call 911 or go the Emergency Room (ER) if you think you are having a real emergency or you could put your health at serious risk by delaying care.