AUSTIN (KXAN) - We've seen them pop up all over Central Texas: after-hours medical clinics. You may be wondering if there is a difference between all the different centers and what you should look for.
Local pediatrician Dr. Arie Brown joined KXAN to talk about this new trend in medical care and help you weed through all the confusion.
Dr. Brown says a change in demand is responsible for this medical new trend. "People want convenience. They don't want to wait until the next day, they don't want to miss work, they don't want their child to miss school and so they are seeking alternatives."
However, she emphasizes that not all of these after-hours care centers are the same and that it's important to understand the difference, especially when it concerns a child.
"One structure is like a pediatric after-hours care, which is a pediatrician who can see a child in the office and provide labs, maybe x-rays and do minor illness and injury.
Then there are kind of convenience care clinics which are usually staffed by family practice practitioners. They may not even see a child under the age of 2.
Then you have urgent care centers. They offer lab work and x-rays and then you've got free-standing ER's or hospital emergency rooms."
Dr. Arie Brown warns that the costs will go up as you go to a hospital emergency room. And not only do you end up with higher bills, the waiting time is usually longer too.
Dr. Brown says she hopes more pediatric care facilities will offer after-hours so that children can get the appropriate care after their doctor's office is closed.
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