Urgent Cares promise fast medical care in non-emergency situations, even without an appointment. For some families, Urgent Cares acts as a replacement for primary care physicians, as the family only utilizes healthcare services in the rare circumstance they need a prescription to treat something they can’t sleep away.
Most patients expect quick, quality, affordable service from Urgent Cares. Included in this is an expectation that doctors, nurses, Physician Assistants, and Nurse Practitioners employed by these facilities will be properly trained and educated, with the same qualifications as other healthcare professionals working at hospitals and clinics.
Most patients might also expect there to be a strong regulatory apparatus for these practices, but in reality, regulations and oversight are inconsistent from state to state and sometimes even from city to city. Urgent Cares would like to keep it this way, as this keeps costs down, even if patients are put at greater risk of negative outcomes. Determining the extent to which Urgent Care has been monitored by State agencies or accrediting bodies is important. Having some guarantee that you are receiving quality medical care is paramount. But knowing which accreditations have value and which do not can be practically impossible except for those in the field.
Accreditations and certifications do exist. Most states still do not require any level of accreditation, though some insurance providers have started requiring Urgent Care facilities to obtain accreditation in order to get paid.
If you or someone you love suffered due to a missed diagnosis at an Urgent Care facility, or due to improper or insufficient treatment, you were likely surprised to find out how loose the regulations on these facilities are. Please, retain an experienced attorney who can help you hold the facility accountable for its negligence.