Tonawanda News — Martin said she anticipates that if there is a rise in urgent care usage due to the Affordable Care Act, it will happen because perhaps more doctors, like Stehlik, will start working in conjunction with the facilities, using them as extension of their own practices.
“Ideally the Affordable Care Act should give everybody a primary care physician, and then the hopes would be that if everybody has a doctor and they don’t have ability to see you in timely manner, they can offload you at urgent care if they’re inundated,” Martin said.
The act is aimed, she said, at providing more people with preventative health care and primary care doctors.
“I suppose urgent care centers could into (preventative medicine) in areas where there aren’t enough primary care doctors,” she added. “I don’t know which way it will shake out.”
Pundt anticipates the prevalence of urgent care centers to grow in Western New York — and indeed the rest of the country — as more and more people find themselves seeking medical care.
Is it affordable?
It’s one question that doesn’t have a simple answer. It all comes down to your insurance provider and what plan you have with said provider, said Julie Snyder, director of corporate relations at BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York.
“You really should check with your health plan to make sure that you understand the coverage,” she said, adding that high-deductible plans may require a higher payment at time of service until you meet your deductible.
This is why Snyder emphasizes the need to contact your primary care physician before dropping in on an urgent care facility. If an illness is something a primary care physician can handle in office, a patient only has to pay their typical office visit co-pay. An urgent care visit could count against a deducible and cost more.