Urgent-care facilities have longtime critics who question the quality of their care.
Indeed, some of these walk-in centers are not meeting emergency-care standards, said an official of a leading medical organization.
“This has been a continuing concern of ours,” said Robert Mills, a spokesman for the American Medical Association. He added that some urgent-care facilities are “not in the public interest.”
Still, the AMA, in a statement, noted patients value the convenience of urgent-care centers and retail health clinics because they have late hours and offer pricing at the point of care.
“However, there is concern that some of these facilities may not communicate adequately with primary care physicians about services delivered, thereby potentially undermining the physician-patient relationship,” according to the AMA.
Mills said that after a patient receives care in an urgent-care center or retail clinic, “there should be follow-up communication with a patient’s primary care provider, or usual source of care, to avoid fragmenting patient care.”
The Urgent Care Association said that it is not trying to replace primary care physicians or emergency rooms.