Urgent Care Clinics Offer Cheaper Weekend Alternative to ER

Northwest Arkansas -- Emergency rooms expect a busy Labor Day weekend, but providers say people with minor injuries or symptoms have a cheaper option.

"Summer weekends, you know, especially with the 3 day weekend and the holiday coming up... and people out on the lake, we typically see a lot of minor injuries, falls and possibly broken bones," says Christine Bryant, an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse at Mercy Convenient Care Clinic. "Most primary care offices are not open on the weekend, and so, first instinct is going to be to go to the emergency room."

Bryant says urgent care clinics offer a less expensive option.

"For most insurance it's just a regular co-pay visit," she says. "It's not considered an emergency room visit."

From stitches to x-rays, walk-in clinics offer the same treatment you would expect from your regular doctor.

"We are able to do some laceration repair, and that goes along with minor injuries," Bryant says. "(We can treat) the common cold, sore throat, cough, upper respiratory kind of symptoms, nasal drainage, ear pain and x-rays."

Avoiding the emergency room doesn't just save money, it also saves time, because if an actual emergency rolls through the doors, it takes priority.

"If you go to the emergency room for a possible, say broken arm... and somebody comes in with chest pain, you're going to be bumped down a little bit lower," Bryant says. "Typically the wait is going to be less here at Convenient Care."

Mercy's Convenient Care is located at 3101 SE 14th St, Bentonville, AR 72712. It is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. It will be open Labor Day 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Mercy Clinic Primary Care is located at 1 Mercy Way, Bella Vista, AR 72715 and is open Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon.

Northwest Family Care-Westside is located at 3875 W Sunset Avenue, Springdale, AR 72762 and is open Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Northwest Medical Plaza at Pinnacle is located at 2000 S 42nd St., Suite 100, Rogers, AR 72758 and is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays noon to 5 p.m.

MedExpress Centers are open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. 7 days a week. They have locations in Bentonville, Springdale and Fayetteville. For more info, click here.

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