Impact of Urgent Care Centers on Emergency Department VisitsRamy Yakobi*
Brooklyn Hospital Center, Emergency Medicine, USA
- *Corresponding Author:
- Ramy Yakobi
Vice Chair, Brooklyn Hospital Center
Emergency Medicine, 120 DeKalb Ave
Brooklyn, N. Y. 11201, United States
Tel: 917 886 0839
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: June 04, 2017; Accepted date: July 27, 2017; Published date: August 03, 2017
Citation: Yakobi R (2017) Impact of Urgent Care Centers on Emergency Department Visits. Health Care Current Reviews 5:204. doi:10.4172/2375-4273.1000204
Copyright: © 2017 Yakobi R. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Background: Urgent Care Centers (UCC) and Retail Clinics (RC) have become popular as the need for convenient care continues to grow in light of long waits to be seen by Emergency Departments (ED). Objective: To analyze the impact of UCC on the ED census of nearby hospitals. Methods: This retrospective analysis examined census for the EDs located within 2 miles from UCC. The census was obtained for a period of January 2010 through December 2015 from four different hospitals in New York City. This period corresponds to the rapid expansion of UCC in the metropolitan area. Results: Although some variation was seen during certain years, there was an increase in ED census in the year 2015 as compared to that of 2010. About 100 UCCs operate among the various boroughs of New York City that are capable of addressing illnesses that are classified by ED as ESI Level 4 and 5. Insurance companies would prefer patients to be seen by these centers rather than in costly EDs. Also the overall healthcare cost could potentially benefit if roughly 20% of the ED visits were seen in UCC. Nonetheless, no impact on total ED census was observed. Conclusion: While UCCs are relatively new in New York City and the wait time is much shorter for simple illnesses, the presence of UCCs did not decrease the census of main EDs. It is anticipated that these alternative care centers will play a bigger role in the future.