Primary Care Physicians maintains 20% of each day’s schedule available for same day appointments. Every provider in the office has appointment slots to accommodate urgent same day access. We limit the use of those appointment slots for urgent needs or acute problems and not for chronic management. While we know patients are busy and pressed for time, we would like to have the ability to work a patient into the day’s schedule for a sore throat or headache or the high blood pressure identified at the dentist’s office. Getting a same day appointment for a camp physical or a 6-month follow up appointment for hypertension isn’t always possible. But we can likely see you tomorrow or later this same week.
By having same day appointments, we reduce the use of the emergency room for non-emergent care. We also reduce the splintering of care that happens when people go to walk-in clinics.
While a walk-in clinic may advertise that they take your insurance, if your insurance carrier hasn’t contracted with that specific clinic, you may receive a SIZABLE bill for services. Most patients must pay a percentage of care or may have a large deductible. Many diagnostic tests require prior authorization. Walk-in clinics do not have your active medication list and can prescribe drugs that interact with your daily medications. The walk-in clinic may be more convenient but they may be more expensive and create new problems.But in the atmosphere of defensive medicine, the walk-in clinic (and the emergency room) will often over test and order more diagnostic tests necessary to cover their liability. They don’t know you the way your family doctor knows you. They don’t have the time or philosophy that your family physicians has to know you and your medical issues.
Also, we often do not get records and have no knowledge of your illnesses and treatments.
It’s why we keep our daily schedules partially open. We want to take care of our patients and will make every effort to get you seen as soon as possible.