One of the key attributes of urgent care is that the cost is lower than patients would face in the emergency room—which is a benefit not only for them, but for their insurers. Even so, the cost may be too high for some lower income patients, especially those who don’t have insurance or can come up with the copay. You may have a better option than either turning them away or eating the cost, however. A recent report from BBC News reminded viewers and readers that “free” clinics still exist, and may be a solid option when the alternative is no care at all. The BBC piece focuses on West Virginia Health Right, where physicians and dentists volunteer to help patients—83% of whom are employed, dispelling the notion that only the jobless need access to the lowest-cost care. Consider scouting out the free clinics in your area and keeping a list so you can refer patients who need to see someone, but can’t afford even the lower-cost, excellent care you provide.
When Even the Low Coast of Urgent Care is Too Much for Some Patients