Santa Clara: Mon, Wed, Thurs: 9am-9pm | Tue, Fri: 9am-7pm | Sat & Sun: 9am-5pm
Stevens Creek & Palo Alto: Mon-Fri: 9am-7pm | Sat & Sun: 9am-5pm
San Jose & Sunnyvale: Mon-Fri: 9am-7pm | Sat: 9am-5pm | Sun: Closed

On Medicare or Medicaid? Here’s How You Benefit from Urgent Care Utilization

In California, just under six million beneficiaries are enrolled in any Medicare program and approximately 12 million members are enrolled in the state’s Medicaid program (Medi-Cal), according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

It may be confusing to understand if your government-sponsored insurance provides or covers certain services like preventive care and basic screening services. Medicare, government insurance plans for individuals 65 and older, cover the majority (if not all) the costs of preventive services. Additionally, Medicaid plans provided through managed care programs for younger patients also provide coverage for common healthcare services.

Whether you are on Medicaid or Medicare, an urgent care center can provide you with quick and cost-friendly means for seeking immediate healthcare treatments and services.

Why Medicare beneficiaries should use urgent care services

Medicare is a commonly accepted form of insurance within several healthcare facilities, but using an urgent care center may be more effective dependent upon your plan.

The price of an urgent care visit is usually lower than in another facility and is less likely to drive up your out-of-pocket care costs. Older patients that qualify for Medicare may require certain services, such as injury treatments, at a faster rate than provided in another healthcare facility.

An urgent care center may also provide geriatric exams for older patients on Medicare such as nutrition, vision, and balance checks!  

Useful urgent care services for Medicaid beneficiaries

Medicaid patients that aren’t sure if certain facilities accept their insurance can usually find coverage at an urgent care center. In addition, the use of an urgent care center can help Medicaid patients avoid the potential high out-of-pocket costs of using emergency services when an urgent care visit could perform the same treatment.

Many useful services that can help Medicaid patients manage their overall healthcare include:

  •      Biometric screenings
  •      Routine checkups
  •      Diabetes and chronic care
  •      Vaccinations
  •      Flu shots

Even though most urgent care centers accepted most Medicaid and Medicare plans, patients should first check if their specific insurance plans are accepted by a specific urgent care center. A simple consultation can help you plan your healthcare visit, adequately budget, and find a convenient time to make an appointment.

If you already know if your insurance plan is accepted by an Instant Urgent Care center, use the homepage to schedule an immediate visit!

What to do when planning your annual physical/checkup

An annual physical may be the most important appointment you need to make sure that your overall health remains steady and improves. No matter how many tests, medications, or exams you take throughout the year, the annual physical remains the best tool to ensure your health is on the right track.

That is because the information gathered by a primary care provider during a physical identifies the major conditions and causes of your personal health. Without a routine physical, you could experience a new health risk that goes unaddressed or untreated.

However, planning an annual physical may be daunting as your responsibilities, family, and other priorities could get in the way of remembering to get your checkup.

Here are some ways that you can plan out your annual physical and keep up with your most important health appointment:

Pick a date that is a full calendar year from your last physical

It may seem like common sense to plan a year between physicals, but some people tend to forget to remember the date of their last checkup and when they need the appropriate follow up.

Contact your primary care provider if you forget when your expected physical, since they can provide you with that information. Other helpful tips to remember your annual checkup include keeping a health journal, referencing any medical records you have available, and creating a digital calendar with all your commitments including healthcare-related events.

Coordinate with your employer about when to get your physical  

Sometimes it can be stressful to request time off  work when there are a lot of projects or commitments on your plate. A simple way to reduce this stress and fit in your physical is to request your appointment in advance.

Inform your supervisor or human resources coordinator of when your checkup is (usually a full calendar year from your last one). Planning your medical needs ahead helps to promote a healthy work-life balance and reduces the likelihood that one commitment may interfere with the other.

Prepare for your physical and have any/all health information ready for your provider  

Once you’re at the appointment, make sure that any updates about your health, medication history, stress, and mental health levels, and related information is available to your primary care provider. These pieces of information can improve the quality of your physical and help you adjust your healthcare routines accordingly.

If you are looking for a primary care provider, or any primary care service, you can always set up an appointment through Instant Urgent Care’s primary care services and find a provider you can trust.

What are the most common conditions that require urgent care visits?

Urgent care centers provide a fast and convenient way to maintain strong overall health. These facilities provide common services such as flu shots, vaccinations, and routine checkups to ensure your health remains on the right track. But sometimes it can be hard to determine when you should visit an urgent care facility.

It may help to understand some of the most common treatments provided at urgent care centers. Knowing how to best use urgent care facilities may provide the necessary perspective about when you should schedule an urgent care appointment.

Mild injuries and physical ailments are treated in high volumes at urgent care facilities

Urgent care centers can be great facilities to treat mild injuries because they can offer care daily at convenient hours during the week. Injuries that are commonly treated at urgent care facilities include:

  • Fractures or sprains that require an x-ray or imaging service to diagnose. Urgent care centers provide these imaging services at low costs to identify if you need specialist care or a milder form of treatment.
  • Cuts, scrapes, and bruises from physical injury. Minor injuries can be treated in an urgent care setting at either a low out-of-pocket cost or through private insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare. Other types of injuries treated at urgent care centers include minor burns, neck and back injuries, sports-related injuries, and occupational injuries.

Illnesses and diseases commonly treated at urgent care centers

An urgent care center is also a great resource for immediate relief from illnesses such as the flu and similar infections. A complete list of illnesses and symptoms usually treated within urgent care centers include the following:

  •      Influenza
  •      Colds
  •      Fever, Sore Throat, and other Respiratory Infections
  •      Headaches
  •      Congestion
  •      Earaches
  •      Nausea, vomiting, and dizziness

Urgent care centers provide preventive care services such as screenings, vaccinations, and STD tests

Preventive care services like screenings and vaccinations are commonly provided at urgent care centers around the country. Before going to a primary care provider, specialist, or hospital, you may be able to schedule a more cost-effective and quicker visit for your needs at an urgent care center.

Urgent care centers provide many preventive care services including:

  •      Flu shots
  •      Pediatric and adult vaccinations
  •      Travel vaccinations
  •      STD screenings
  •      Diabetes screenings
  •      Biometric screenings for high blood pressure and cholesterol
  •      Geriatric exams.

If you require treatment or services for any medical situations listed above, make sure you contact your nearest Instant Urgent Care center and schedule an appointment today.

Speak with a representative to address any questions about your healthcare needs and how urgent care is convenient for you!  

New Year, New You, New Health: A guide to improving your overall health for next year!

2019 is just around the corner and now is a better time than any to start planning your health-related new year resolutions! Personal health goals including wellness, weight loss, eating healthy, and exercise are some of the most common new year resolutions among the American population.

However, it can be daunting both physically and emotionally to make drastic lifestyle and wellness changes that interrupt current routines. Luckily, there are many healthcare planning tips to make next year your healthiest to date!

Addressing any chronic diseases you may have throughout the year

The CDC estimates that six out of ten Americans have at least one chronic disease that can be prevented by improving healthy behaviors. If you have a chronic disease, make sure you manage it throughout the year by scheduling appointments for chronic care for needed screenings tests, and specialist referrals.

Preventing chronic disease also requires cutting back on certain behaviors like alcohol consumption and smoking. Chronic disease prevention also involves improving healthy eating and exercise. The following step can help you address important healthcare behaviors:

Join a wellness/healthy lifestyle program through work or a community organization  

Wellness programs offered through gyms, local organizations, or employers can provide a variety of resources to help improve your overall health. Wellness programs usually focus on addressing the root of poor health such as low fitness level, poor diet, and limited healthcare access. 

Wellness programs are designed to reward participants that show improved health or increased healthy behaviors via financial incentives, discounted gym memberships, or similar rewards. Joining a wellness program may be fairly easy if you work full time.

A significant majority of large employers provide some form of wellness programming. Gyms and community centers may also offer wellness programming to increase social engagement and interactivity.

Ultimately, a wellness program can help you identify ways to successfully lose weight and improve lifestyle factors that impact your health.

Plan out screenings, checkups, and medical appointments for the upcoming year

The most critical component of meeting your health-related new year resolutions is to plan for any upcoming preventive care services for next year.

It is not uncommon to skip or avoid annual checkups, flu shots, chronic disease screenings, and similar appointments because of important commitments. Make sure to talk to your employer, family, and friends to schedule out medical appointments in advance.

Consulting with urgent care experts can help make fitting in medical visits easy and convenient for your schedule. Urgent care providers may also recommend specialists, such as nutritionists and dieticians, to assist your new year’s goals.

Kick off your New Year’s goals before the ball drops by contacting your nearest Instant Urgent Care facility!

How Important is the Flu Shot for Kids

Parents try to do everything they can to protect their child from harm and illness, and this flu season that means getting them a flu shot! Flu season is in full swing, but that doesn’t say it’s too late to get your child vaccinated. Flu vaccines are a quick and easy way to protect your child from an illness that could cause them to be hospitalized. If your child hasn’t been vaccinated yet, take a look at some of these facts about the flu before it’s too late.

The Vaccination Changes Each Year

If your child received a flu vaccine last year, they aren’t protected against the flu this year. Each year your child needs to accept an updated version of the flu vaccine to best defend against the strain of flu that’s going around currently.

It Doesn’t Have to Be A Shot

Your child may try to resist getting the flu vaccine if they don’t like needles, but that’s no excuse not to vaccinate! There’s a nasal spray version of the flu shot available to most patients that protects just as well as the traditional shot without the pain of needles.

Getting Your Child Vaccinated Protects Those Around Them

You likely want to get your child vaccinated to protect them, but did you know you’ll actually be protecting everyone around them too? That includes yourself! Children in school are exposed to so many germs on a daily basis, especially during flu season. By vaccinating your child, you’re protecting their teachers, peers, and your entire household.

It Could Save Their Life

Most people associate the flu with just not feeling well, but it can be much more severe than that. High fevers and dehydration from vomiting and diarrhea lead to many hospitalizations each year. In extreme circumstances, those hospitalizations end in death. Getting your child vaccinated could literally be the difference between life and death for them this winter, what parent would want to risk that?

There’s No Reason Not To!

The questions you should ask yourself isn’t why you should get your child vaccinated, but rather why you shouldn’t. The answer is quite simple – there’s no reason not to! Flu shots can be painless, they’re covered by insurance providers, they have the potential to save your child’s life, and there are no adverse side effects! A quick trip to your child’s pediatrician is all it takes to protect your child this flu season, why wouldn’t you want to do that?

National Healthy Skin Month

This month is the month to focus on improving your skin! Your skin is the largest organ on your body, yet many people forget how vital skin health and care really is. Dry skin is the most common form of neglected skin that dermatologists see, so let’s discuss a few quick tips you can try to treat your dry skin.

Baths and Showers

It might be tempting to take a scalding hot tub or shower to relax, but your skin would disagree. You should take warm baths and showers, not hot ones. The hot water will quickly dry out your skin. Avoid staying in the tub or shower too long, no matter how beautiful it might feel!

Moisturize!

After you get out of the bath or shower, you should gently pat your skin dry. Then, apply a moisturizer before getting dressed. If you suffer from unusually dry skin, a thicker cream or ointment is better than a traditional lotion. Heavily fragranced lotions may be tempting, but you should avoid using them every day.

Wet Air

During the winter months, dry skin often becomes worse. You should invest in a humidifier to keep in your home and run it while you sleep, or during the day if you’re home. The moist air will prevent your skin from drying out in the harsh weather.

Be Gentle with Your Skin

The fabrics you wear may not feel too harsh at first, but with time they can really take a toll on your skin. Wear soft cotton clothing on your skin as much as possible. If you have to wear a harsh fabric like wool, wear something cotton underneath to protect your skin.

Handwashing

Handwashing is a meaningful way to prevent the spread of bacteria and illnesses, but it will quickly dry out your hands. Don’t let dry hands stop you from handwashing as often as you should though. The disease is much more severe than dry skin! Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer often and thoroughly dry your skin afterward. Apply thick hand cream after washing to prevent skin cracking and extreme dryness. If your skin is still dry despite the hand cream, petroleum jelly can be used before bed or throughout the day to treat unusually dry spots. Remember, scented lotions may smell nice, but they don’t offer the relief that your skin needs!

Wash away the Flu!

It may be October & spooky season but there is even something scarier than that… Flu season! Usually, by this time of the year, people start thinking about the holidays & less about how they can avoid the flu.  Washing your hands is one of the best ways to avoid the flu even after you’ve gotten your flu shot!

How much do you wash your hands?

It seems like a silly question but you would be surprised studies have shown that 1in5 adults do not wash their hands after using the bathroom! YUCK! There is no specific amount of times you should wash your hand during the day however, you should be washing your hands frequently.  Some examples of when you wash your hands are after:

  • After you use the bathroom
  • After you play with pets
  • After you play outside
  • After you use public transportation
  • After you type on your computer

When thinking about the whole day we actually use our hands for everything! Always be mindful of when they need to be washed!

How to wash your hands

Ok so now we have discussed when to use your hands but now its time to talk about how to wash your hands. Going to the sink and just putting water on your hands will not help your cause, you aren’t getting rid of any germs that way.  Doctors suggest that you need to use a decent amount of soap & spending at least 25-30 seconds washing your hands. When you touch something dirty, even if it is for a second your hand picks up millions of germs! 10 seconds under the sink is not going to change that.  A good time that works for children is to tell them to sing happy birthday while washing their hands.

Healthy Living Habits

We know it is tedious to keep worrying about your hand being dirty.  We here at instant urgent care don’t want you to worry yourselves too much about having clean hands. We just want you to be responsible & smart about when & how you wash your hands. Use these tips & tricks & you should be on your way to a healthier life & staying away from the flu!

 

 

Don’t let candy give you a scare this Halloween!

Halloween is the spookiest time of the year & we have learned to love the creepy traditions of dressing up & going out. However, this Halloween ghost & ghouls aren’t the only things you should be afraid of! Candy is the sweetest part of Halloween but is known to have some very bad side effects on children. Read more to see how much candy your child should consume on Halloween.

How much candy should A child have?

As we know a child body is very vulnerable as they go through their, adolescence. Studies show that a child will eat about 7,000 calories on Halloween. These calories have about 675 grams of sugar, the average amount of sugar for a child is 35 grams! We are not telling you to take candy away from your child on Halloween, however, try using some low sugar candies instead. Some example is:

  • Coconut butter cups
  • Pretzels
  • unreal Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter
  • Good bites classic macaroons

What can too much candy do?

Too much candy can cause a lot of health problems later in life for your child. When you see a child that has begun their “sugar high” this is the process of when the body has exceeded its amount of sugar needed so it decides to start burning off some. As funny as this may be for a child, unfortunately, this is a sign the body is having a bad reaction to the sugar intake. After the “sugar high” has ended you will notice that a child will feel sluggish, cranky & have a loss of appetite. If continued candy abuse is used the body can be considered prediabetic. Pre-diabetic means the body cannot produce sugar & carbohydrates correctly. If you become prediabetic & then go on an eating binge of candy this can switch over to diabetes in the same day.

What should you as a parent do?

We all want to see our kids laugh & enjoy the holidays as they should! One night of unhealthy eating can slide for the sake of a holiday, however, making sure your kids don’t eat candy past 8 p.m can help with their sugar intake. Also, make sure to give your kids a lot of water & healthy food the following day to balance out the candy! We here at Instant Urgent Care would like to wish you all a happy Halloween!

 

 

Reasons to Get a Flu Shot

The flu shot is a vaccine people should receive each year to prevent the spread of influenza, but many people decide against receiving the vaccine each flu season. If you’re unsure why you need to get your flu shot or have concerns about it, we’re here to help. These are just a few of the many reasons why you should get your flu shot this year.

Protecting Yourself and Those Around You

Influenza becomes an epidemic nearly every single year because people choose not to vaccinate. To get a better understanding of how much a simple vaccine could protect yourself and those around you, let’s look at some statistics.:

  • Each year 200,000 people are hospitalized because of influenza
    People die each year from the flu.
  • The number is steadily decreasing, but anywhere from 3,000 to 49,000 people still die each year from flu-related causes.
  • You may not view the flu as a life or death thing, but it is for many people each year. Anyone over the age of 6 months old is eligible to receive a flu shot, including pregnant women. This means that if everyone who’s eligible got vaccinated, we could put an end to the epidemic. All insurance companies pay for flu shots with no copay, and if you don’t have health insurance, each county has their own free flu shot program each year.

There’s a Needle-free Option

Many people choose not to get the flu shot due to a fear of needles, but that shouldn’t be stopping you. Anyone aged 2-49 who isn’t pregnant can receive a nasal spray form of the flu shot that offers the same results without the fear of the needle. Many parents find this is an excellent alternative for younger children or for themselves if they have a fear of needles.

There’s No Risk

There are many misconceptions about the flu shot, but none of them are actually true! Many people fear they will get sick if they get the shot, but that isn’t the case. The majority of people have no side effects from the flu shot. Those who do suffer side effects complain of a runny nose and sore throat that lasts only 1-2 days. That means that with a quick trip to your doctor, a walk-in clinic, or pharmacy, you can receive a flu shot at little to no cost and protect yourself and those around you. There’s absolutely no risk or downside, so what’s holding you back?

Pumpkin Carving Safety Tips

October is filled with trips to the pumpkin patch and for some unlucky people, trips to the emergency room. Hospitals see a rise in hand injuries each year as pumpkin carving takes place as a family tradition for many people. To keep your family activities festive and fun rather than painful and dangerous, follow these tips for safe pumpkin carving.

Keep It Clean

Before you begin carving your pumpkin, you should make sure you have a clean working area. The area you choose should be well lit and dry to avoid accidental slipping or mistakes. Some of the things you should wash and thoroughly dry before carving include:

  • Knives
  • The pumpkin
  • Your hands
  • The carving surfaces
  • Any other sharp carving or marking utensils
  • Adult Supervision is Key

Hospitals often see children with injuries from cutting without supervision, which is something that can be easily prevented. Even if you think your child can handle it, you should always supervise the carving process, and the sharp carving utensils should be left to an adult. Your child can still enjoy outlining the design, cleaning out the pumpkin, and seeing the final product without putting themselves in harm’s way with sharp knives and carving materials.

Knives Shouldn’t Be Sharpened Before Use

You may think sharpening your knives before carving will make for smoother cuts, but this isn’t always the case. Sharper knives can smoothly go through the side of a pumpkin, causing a severe injury to your hand or finger. Use your knives as you normally would without any additional sharpening. If a knife becomes lodged in the pumpkin, be sure to slowly pull it out while being aware of your hand and finger placement.

Buy a Kit

If you want to avoid the chances of injury even further, invest in a pumpkin carving kit. These kits can be found at most stores for a reasonable price, and they include everything you need to carve a pumpkin safely. Most importantly, the packages include small knives meant to use for pumpkin carving. These knives are designed not to be sharp enough to inflict serious injury, but they should still only be used by adults. Your children will love the books full of fun carving designs included in the book, and you’ll like knowing no one will need a trip to the emergency room!