Profits Over Patients The Shortcomings of the American Health Care Field and How Walk In Clinics is Changing This

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There are a few businesses in the United States that will always be relevant due to human needs. Among these few are the food service industry, the real estate market, and the health care field. Recent changes within the health care field are causing American to think about the kind of health care they receive as changes in legislation has caused a growing number of free walk in clinics to emerge across the nation. Here are some examples of why change is a good thing for the American health care system.

The Shortcomings of Traditional American Healthcare

There are a growing number of skeptics who believe that privatized health care institutions and pharmaceutical companies prioritize their own profits above the well-being of patients. Whether or not the health care field is dominated by less-than-genuine intentions is a matter of debate, yet there is evidence that the traditional healthcare system that encompasses primary care physicians and hospitals is unable to cater to the needs of patients. Only 29% of primary care doctors have any kind of after-hours coverage; in many cases patients were forced to either wait until their doctor’s office is open in the morning or head to the emergency room for their immediate medical needs.

Unfortunately, emergency rooms prioritize patients based on the severity of their injuries and condition; a study from 2003 to 2009 found that the mean time of United States emergency rooms increased by 25% from 46.5 minutes to 59.1 minutes. Those who visited the emergency room in 2009 had a median cost of $615; the average expenses for those who had more than one visit to the emergency room reached $1,318 according to the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). Thanks to the internet, many patients are sharing their experiences with hospitals: there are some cases where hospitals will tack on medical expenses for Tylenol by the pill, tissue use, the use of a blood pressure cuff, and even the little cups that medication is served in — in many cases these costs are inflated and unjustified in the eyes of patients.

More Comprehensive Healthcare

For decades there has been a gap in healthcare coverage between the thoroughness of a primary care physician and the extended hours of emergency rooms. Medical walk in clinics close the gap by providing professional healthcare coverage with extended hours, decreased fees, and shorter wait times than emergency rooms. There are a number of low cost or free walk in clinics that are able to offer comprehensive, professional family health care. In order to keep up with the demand caused by low cost and free walk in clinics, it is estimated that the United States will require an additional 52,000 physicians by 2025. Since a majority of these clinics are owned by physicians, free health clinics are able to offer a variety of services from fracture care to STD testing kits. There is a subtle revolution in American healthcare taking place in our own backyards; visit a walk in clinic near you to see how healthcare that prioritizes patients ought to look like.

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