Tonawanda News

Features

July 14, 2013

Urgent care facilities popping up to bridge gap between primary physicians, ERs

Tonawanda News — Every day, people in Western New York face the challenge of just what to do about that possible broken bone or cut that needs stitches at 8 p.m. on a Thursday. Or perhaps a fever that just won’t go away Saturday morning.

Do you wait it out until you can see your doctor the next weekday morning? Or do you sit in a waiting room — perhaps for hours — and pay a large bill at an emergency room for a medical concern that’s maybe not that serious?

Urgent care centers have been popping up across the region the last several years to bridge that gap in medical care, providing a lower-cost, efficient alternative to primary care physicians and busy emergency departments, something that may become even more necessary when the Affordable Care Act goes into full effect. But some doctors worry patients may not be using urgent care facilities for their intended purpose.

Not all urgent care centers are created equal

There’s one thing many urgent care workers, emergency room doctors and family physicians can agree on, it’s that urgent care centers are often a quicker alternative to a visit to a doctor’s office or emergency room.

Of the four urgent care centers interviewed for this article — Express Medical Care of WNY, Pediatric & Adolescent Urgent Care of Western New York, MASH Urgent Care and WNY Immediate Care — all accept walk-in appointments and are open for hours beyond traditional family doctors’ practices.

It may be difficult to get a last-minute appointment with a primary care physician on the same day, and patients may sometimes have to see another doctor or physician’s assistant at the same practice instead of their regular doctor. Emergency room waits can draw on for hours, especially if a patient’s injury or illness is less serious than those who come in with life-threatening problems.

1
2 3 4 5 6 7
Text Only
Features
  • SUN LIFE Volunteers honored 1 040614.jpg Women Who Move the City (and beyond)

    April 7, 2014 2 Photos

  • SUN LIFE POUND 1040614j jpg.jpg Rock n' roll fitness

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - crib notes RGB Enough of this winter -- it's time for spring

    Midway through separating the bits of dog food from the shredded paper towel pieces on the saturated bed sheet that had been strewn across the dining-room table, I finally realized I’d had enough.

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - critter companions RGB Dear readers, it's me, Kenny

    I have bad knees. I have been told to blame my grandmother. I have also been told to blame her for my love of animals. Today, we celebrate the 100th Critter Companions column.

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE mummies 1 033014.jpg 'Mummies of the World' exhibit arrives in Buffalo

    As visitors arrived for the recent NCAA basketball tournament games in Buffalo, a much older group of visitors arrived via motorcade at the Buffalo Museum of Science — but these newcomers to the Queen City wouldn’t be seeking out a place to have a beer between games or where to find the region’s best chicken wings.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - double trouble RGB Years later, still spending sunny days on Sesame Street

    I always knew we’d hit “the Elmo years.”

    Going into parenthood, it seemed like a given. Both my husband and I  were “Sesame Street” fans from childhood ourselves, and we were happy enough to pass it on to a new generation. And we knew, having friends with children of the applicable age, that in this day and age “Sesame Street” equalled Elmo, the squeaky-voiced “furry red menace” (thus dubbed by Oscar the Grouch) of parents everywhere.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE Local Restaurant Week 2 033014.jpg Back for another bite

    As spring finally starts to unfold in Western New York, residents are likely eager to get out of their houses — and organizers of Local Restaurant Week hope they’ll consider eating out as they do that.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wineries invite visitors to take a Taste of the Trail

    If one weekend of food and wine pairings is a good thing, two weekends of food and wine pairings must be even better.

    For the first time, the Taste of the Trail event, which takes place Friday through April 6 and April 11 to 13 on the Niagara Wine Trail, will be split into two weekends, with half the trail’s wineries taking part the first weekend and half the second, said Elizabeth Maute, wine trail coordinator.

    March 31, 2014

  • sig - critter companions RGB CRITTER COMPANIONS: Rewards for playing nice

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE signs of spring 1 032314.jpg Region's favorite signs of spring gear up for season

    Ah, the signs of spring: The birdsong, the flowers, the green grass, the flowing waters of the Erie Canal or Niagara River ... and the words “Opening soon” on the marquee of your favorite seasonal business.

    March 24, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Facebook
Front page
NDN Video