You no longer have to go to the doctor's office when you have a sore throat, sinus infection or other common illness. Limited Service walk-in clinics are exploding in popularity. NPR reports that CVS has the most with 588 MinuteClinics nationwide. Walgreens operates 356 clinics and Wal-Mart runs another 143. According to metrowestdailynews.com, using facilities like CVS Pharmacy's MinuteClinic can save you long waits and lots of money.
Avoiding the Emergency Room
For people without a general practitioner, the emergency room can seem like the only option for a case of the flu or another common ailment. But that's one of the most expensive places to get medical treatment. Instead, try a retail drop-in clinic.
Compare the Costs
A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine compared health care costs at retail clinics verses alternative sources. The study found that the average cost of treatment for conditions like a urinary tract infection, ear infection and sore throat was the most affordable at a retail clinic, costing $110. While a physician's office charged $166, an urgent care facility $156 and the emergency room $570.
Utilize Free Services
At CVS Pharmacy's MinuteClinic, health professionals often offer free health screenings. Right now you can get a free diabetes screening which includes a risk assessment, blood glucose test and lifestyle recommendations from a nurse practitioner.
A 2012 poll conducted by NPR found that nearly two-thirds of clinic customers used insurance to pay for the visit. The majority paid $25 or less for the medical care. It's likely that your insurance will still cover the costs of your drop-in visit.
Certainty of Cost
Anyone who has received medical care knows it's not always clear how much services cost. Patients often don't know what to budget for until they get a bill. But with retail drop-in clinics, there is a certainty of cost. Each service has a set fee so there are no surprises. This makes budgeting for health care much easier on consumers.
By Alison Storm
Stay healthy by shopping the Green & Natural Department at DrugStore.com! Get 20% off any order through 01/25/2013.
* Hot deals expire quickly. This deal may no longer be valid.
The rays of the sun are as equally damaging to the eyes in the Fall and Winter as they are in the Summer. Make sure those eyes are protected by shopping Sunglass Hut today and taking advantage of their Flash Sale that's going on. They've taken select Fashion Collection sunglasses from such big names as Coach, Prada, and Dolce & Gabana and will drop the prices by 50% off when coupon code FLASH102 is used at checkout. Get in on this major deal before the end of the day only on 10/02/2014.
Stores: 20x200, 6pm, Amazon, Apple Store, American Eagle, Banana Republic, Best Buy, Buy.com, Dell, Eastbay, eBags, Eddie Bauer, Endless.com, Home Depot, H&R Block, Kohl's, Macy's, Old Navy, Restaurant.com, Sandals, Shoes.com, Target, Tommy Hilfiger, Toys 'R' Us, Urban Outfitters, Wal-Mart (See more)
Tell your friends about The Bargainist!
Grab our widget for your Blog or Facebook!