Urgent Care

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Urgent Care

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Urgent Care Centers: Good for Patients, Bad for Real Healthcare Reform

Experts agree that the key to solving our healthcare crisis is rebuilding primary care. Advocates of the "patient-centered medical home" maintain that our system would deliver higher quality care at lower cost if primary-care doctors better coordinated their patients' care. Yet in the real world, patients have a hard time getting in to see their primary-care physicians. So we have the phenomenon of the urgent-care center, which caters to patients who want to be seen right away but don't have a problem that's serious enough for them to go the emergency room.

There are now 8,700 urgent-care centers in the U.S., up from 8,100 in 2007. Once derided as "doc-in-the-boxes," they have now…

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Last Updated : Monday, October 23, 2017