Report: Millenials More Likely to Use Urgent Care Facilities Than PCPs

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Adults under 30 are less likely to visit a primary care physician than urgent care clinics, according to a report by Vitals, an online resource to help patients make informed decisions about their care.

Young adults, people between 18 and 29, are twice as likely to use alternative care facilities than people 50 and over. The report noted that 34 percent of young adults do not have a primary care physician, while only 16 percent of people 50 and over do not have one.

The use of urgent care centers is growing, according to Mitch Rothschild, CEO of Vitals. He said the convenience and accessibility of urgent care centers for medical services will continue to attract more patients as healthcare reform allows more coverage and adds to the strain on primary care physicians.

Vitals' report found 41 percent of people surveyed use urgent care facilities for visits not pertaining to illness or injury. Of those patients, 20 percent used them for X-rays and lab tests and 12 percent for ongoing care for chronic illness. Five percent said they went to receive flu shots. Additionally, 25 percent of patients returned to the urgent care center for follow-ups.

Surveyed patients of all ages said they see urgent care centers as fine healthcare providers, giving high ratings on areas such as professionalism, cleanliness and quality of care. Cost was the only rating that was lower, mostly rated between good and fair.

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