Los Angeles is the second largest city in the United States. The city itself is home to over 4 million residents, while LA County has a population of over 18 million. However, despite the massive population, the city only has 36 urgent care centers with another 8 in the surrounding 25 miles in cities such as
Urgent care centers and walk-in clinics are an invaluable resource designed to treat patients who need immediate care for injuries or illnesses that are not threatening to life or limb. Some common reasons for visiting an urgent care facility include:
- Ear pain
- Sore throat
- Persistent diarrhea
- Shallow cuts, common sprains, and other minor trauma
Only about 41 percent of the urgent care centers in Los Angeles are open all week, and only 2 percent cater to pediatric care. That can mean long waits, congestion, and general
frustrations that could hamper your mood and your health.
That’s where PlushCare comes in, eliminating the hassles of wait times and commutes. Our team of top-tier doctors provides round-the-clock care with one simple phone call.
PlushCare doctors have been trained at some of the top medical institutions in the country, including Stanford, UCSF, and UCLA, so you won’t have to worry about sacrificing great quality care for convenience. Our doctors can provide diagnoses, treatments, and prescriptions all over the phone. The process is simple:
Just book an appointment by calling (888) 861-8280 or clicking
- Answer call at your appointment time
- our doctor will diagnose, treat, and prescribe medication if necessary
With the number of primary care physicians decreasing and the lack of resources, urgent care centers and walk-in clinics have become more popular. Patients can resort to urgent care services if they have a common illness or injury that must be treated immediately but is not considered a true emergency. Furthermore, urgent care centers have spiked in popularity as they offer affordable access to patients who may not have or can’t afford health care.
In a survey from the
United States Census Bureau
, 14.7 percent of residents in the Los Angeles County area were uninsured, causing much of the population to turn to urgent care centers and walk-in clinics for more affordable health care.
Furthermore, according to the
LA County Health Survey
, an astounding 23.6 percent of adults (age 18 and older) had difficulty accessing medical care. That means that even those who were insured had trouble finding the medical help they needed. This is further compounded by the city’s rich diversity. About 39 percent of those who had difficulty accessing medical care were foreign born Latino, while 31.5 percent were foreign-born Asian. These are huge numbers of people who have to seek alternate means of medical assistance, including urgent care facilities.
Los Angeles Urgent Care Wait Times
All of this equates to high demand for very short supply, leading to bottlenecking and long wait times at urgent care centers and walk-in clinics throughout Los Angeles. The heat, traffic, and commute times only add to the frustrations.
Wait times at urgent care and walk-in clinics tend to be shorter than what you would expect at the emergency room, but can still be unpredictable.
The wait times at urgent care centers can fluctuate widely based on the level of service that
each patient requires. Remember that if you’re visiting an urgent care facility for a common illness or injury, other people are generally dealing with something similar. However, the severity of the illness or injury can vary from patient to patient.
The variation in severity is a big factor in the unpredictable wait times. These centers do not necessarily operate on a first come, first serve basis. The staff may be forced to prioritize certain patients based on the severity of their medical issues. If the person who walks through the door immediately after you has a more serious issue, they will probably be seen before you.
Los Angeles is a busy city with plenty of full-time working residents. You can expect particularly long waits during non-work hours (weekends and weekdays after 5:00 PM).
You can also expect longer waits during cold and flu season in the fall and winter. Summers come with their own potential problems, including heat-related issues and accident-related injuries with more people enjoying the warm weather outdoors.
The wait time at urgent care facilities and walk-in clinics fluctuates based on a variety of factors that are unpredictable and out of your control, but you can generally expect to wait anywhere from 15 minutes to over an hour in a busy city such as Los Angeles.
Long wait times are a big inconvenience, especially if you have a busy schedule, but they actually pose potential risks to your health. More vulnerable patients can potentially contract healthcare-associated infections. These are infections that patients can develop while being treated for something entirely separate. For instance, say you enter an urgent care facility with the flu. While you’re waiting to get treated, other patients sick with a cold enter the waiting room.
Spending over an hour in a room with patients who have the cold, it’s easy to see how you might end up contracting a cold. No one enjoys leaving a clinic sicker than when they entered, but healthcare-associated infections are more common than you think.
Why Choose PlushCare?
PlushCare is dedicated to eliminating long wait times, congested waiting rooms, and the other frustrations of an urgent care center by allowing you to get diagnoses, treatments, and prescriptions from a trained doctor, all in the comfort of your own home.
If you want to see a doctor in person, we can send a physician straight to your doorstep for a fee of $250. If you cannot afford health insurance, PlushCare.com offers affordable, accessible co-pays for those who need care. We’re here to simplify urgent care and keep you healthy in Los Angeles. If you would like more information, please consult our
Urgent Care FAQs