With all the new changes in healthcare, the consumer can be confused as to what options are right for him/her. One of the newer trends in healthcare is the increasing demand for quick access to medical care when desired NOW by the consumer. For over 30 years Steamboat Medical Group has strived to keep pace for the health care consumer, and provides a choice for you to select urgent care services or traditional primary care services for family medicine, internal medicine or pediatric services.
What is Primary Care?
Primary care is probably your best choice and should be your first stop in getting the care you need for you and your family. Your primary care doctor can treat the majority of common illnesses and minor injuries or conditions. If specialty care is needed, your primary care doctor can coordinate the care and make the necessary referrals for specific medical conditions. Your family doctor has a unique position in already knowing you, your medical conditions and your medications. They may already know your preferred style and preferences when choosing your health care needs. At Steamboat Medical Group, Primary Care Physicians (PCP’s) often have time in their schedule for “sick visits” and can see you the same day for minor illnesses, injuries or concerns. As your “go to” doctor, your Steamboat Medical PCP knows your history and can typically coordinate your in-depth health care services with specialists if needed. Steamboat Medical Group also has x-ray and laboratory services available on site to expand their ability to treat illness and injury. We offer expanded hours to allow access 7 days a week and into evening hours. We invite and welcome our patients to take advantages of these extra “perks” offered at our practice.
Care for ailments might be less expensive at a PCP clinic than an urgent care clinic and is almost always less expensive than seeking emergent care. The only way to know is for you to read about the benefits of your health insurance. You are generally given a book of benefits when you sign up or you may be able to go on line to access this information. Otherwise, you will need to call your insurance company. Physician offices typically do not have this information available. For instance, if you have a copay, it will likely be less for a primary care visit in network than an urgent care clinic, and much less than an emergency room visit. If you have a high deductible, PCP and urgent care are generally much less expensive than emergency room care. But if you are out of network and have a plan that only covers emergencies in an emergency room (such as Kaiser and other HMOs) you may pay more or assume the full cost of your out of network PCP or urgent care visit. Some plans cover out of network costs, but at less of a percentage, in which case PCP and urgent care are still the best option. If you go to an urgent care or PCP clinic (or free standing ER) with a life or limb threatening condition to try to avoid ER prices, however, you might require a very expensive ambulance ride to the ER. With Steamboat Urgent Care and Steamboat Medical Group (Primary Care Clinic) in one facility, you generally have an option to have it billed as Urgent or Primary Care, depending on what is more advantageous to you. In this way, we can be available to all our established local patients as a PCP with expanded and weekend hours as we have for over 30 years, but also be available as Urgent care for all locals and visitors to the Yampa Valley area.
What is Urgent Care?
An urgent care medical facility provides treatment for a vast number of minor injuries, cuts, sprains, sinus infections, stomach issues, fevers, and other types of less serious medical conditions. Unlike your PCP, however, you do not need an appointment to visit the urgent care center, and most have expanded hours. So the increasing demand of the consumer—rapid access to medical care when and where you need it—is being filled by urgent care. Always call your primary care physician first when you need medical care. But if they are not able to accommodate you in a reasonable time frame, or you are needing care on weekends, holidays or in the evening when your primary care is unavailable, then you can visit an urgent care center for non-emergency health care needs. Urgent care bridges the gap between an injury or illness that’s too urgent to wait for the primary care physician and the life-threatening condition that calls for a trip to the emergency room. Any one that has visited an emergency room knows that it can be very costly. According to health care research, up to 84% of people who go to the ER do not have true medical emergencies, and may pay up to six times more than necessary.
Steamboat Urgent Care meets the urgent care needs you or your family may have. No appointment is required. Our urgent care facility offers care on weekends, all holidays (except Thanksgiving and Christmas), and evenings. We have x-ray and laboratory services available on site for assessing many minor illness and injury needs at a price that is generally MUCH lower than an emergency room will charge. If you are a regular patient at Steamboat Medical, our physicians have a unique ability to access your primary care records as well. Our facility is conveniently located on Pine Grove Road (behind Ski Haus) with access to several pharmacies within walking distance, and is located along major bus routes. It is easily accessed by way of local shuttle services. Unlike many urgent care facilities, it is also staffed 100% by board certified family physicians, internists or pediatricians and has been available for Steamboat residents and visitors for over 30 years.
What is Emergency Care?
Seek emergency treatment at a hospital emergency room for life-threatening or limb-threatening medical situations. Emergency room facilities are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our community is fortunate to have a local hospital, Yampa Valley Medical Center which has partnered with UC Health, to treat life threatening injuries, illness and conditions at any time of day or night. Expanded services such as CT and MRI scanning, and on site specialists are accessible through the Emergency Room when urgently needed. Admission to the inpatient services, if required, will not require an expensive ambulance transfer that can occur in stand-alone ER facilities which will also soon be available in the area. Unlike private emergency centers, YVMC also accepts all insurances. After hours, if you are uncertain if your condition warrants an emergency room visit or if it can wait for expanded hours of our Urgent Care Center, Steamboat Medical has a board-certified physician on call 24 hours a day to advise you if needed.
The following lists will help guide you in making your best choice for the services you need at the right time, place and cost.
Urgent Care conditions at STEAMBOAT URGENT CARE:
- Allergic reactions without severe difficulty breathing or unconsciousness.
- Exacerbations of asthma, unless accompanied by marked or severe difficulty breathing.
- Colds, cough, flu, fever
- Mild dehydration
- Ear infections
- Insect bites
- Migraines or moderate headaches
- Minor burns
- Cuts and lacerations
- Minor head injury without loss of consciousness
- Moderate acute back pain
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
- Pink eye
- Sore throats
- Sprains, strains and fractures
- Urinary tract infections
Primary Care treatment at STEAMBOAT MEDICAL GROUP:
- Any of the above conditions if an appointment can be made in a timely manner
- Physical: adult and Medicare wellness, well child checks, sport physicals, DOT and flight physicals.
- Flu shots
- Lab and x-ray tests
- Prescription fills
- Treatment for chronic health conditions, for instance: hypertension, diabetes, chronic musculoskeletal and back pains, headache disorders, hyperlipidemia, asthma, and a huge number of ongoing health conditions that require ongoing care and evaluation.
- Mental health concerns.
- Risk factor evaluations for cardiovascular conditions, diabetes and other genetic conditions.
- Counseling for nutrition, health risks, exercise.
- Counseling for planning health care decisions.
EMERGENCY CARE TREATMENT
- Generally, you should go to an emergency room for any potentially life or limb threatening conditions (This list is not all inclusive)
- Chest pain—especially if concerned about your heart or blood clots going to your lungs
- Moderate to severe abdominal pain.
- Marked dehydration, especially if accompanied by persistent nausea and vomiting.
- Head injury resulting in loss of consciousness or severe headache or significant neurologic symptoms
- Marked anxiety/depression/psychosis/suicide or homicide thoughts
- Stroke symptoms: slurred speech, facial weakness, weakness of limbs, severe dizziness, or change in thinking processes
- High speed motor vehicle accidents or collisions
- Major impact from high impact collisions during sports, such as skiing, biking, snowboarding
- Severe allergic reactions, especially if difficulty breathing, speaking, feeling faint or very weak suggesting impending shock.
- Continuous or uncontrolled bleeding
- Major asthma attacks or chronic lung conditions with exacerbations with significant impairment of breathing.
- Collapse, syncope, or unconsciousness
- Deep wounds
- Fractures of major bones (spine, pelvis, scapula, sternum, upper leg), or multiple potential fractures.
- Severe burns
- Severe headaches or moderate to severe persistent headaches, especially if accompanied by fever or neurologic deficits
- Poisonings or ingestion of an obstructing object
- Rapid or irregular heart beat if accompanied by chest pain, shortness of breath, weakness or faintness
- Major neurologic conditions such as changes in mental status (thinking)