Walk in Clinic Expectations
Everyone has to be a new patient at least once. But where to go when you are a new patient? Do you have a provider? Do you have insurance? Are you new in an area? Need to be seen today? Or just cannot get in to see a provider? These are just some of the reasons patients come to a walk in clinic.
What is a walk in clinic? A medical site that offers services to those who walk in for a visit. No appointments needed. Just sign in at the front desk, show your photo identification, and have a seat in the waiting room. Clinics may be for profit, nonprofit, or charity. Providers may be Nurse Practitioners or Physicians. A clinic’s hours and dates of operation may vary when services are provided to the general public.
What do you need when you come to a walk in clinic? Patients need to bring with them photo proof of identification. A drivers’ licenses or card with a photo, name, address, and birthday on it. This is important to set up the chart that will have the patient’s health history in it.
Will the patient need insurance? Walk in clinics may take an assortment of pay methods. Cash, credit cards, insurance, and co-payments. Clinics need to collect payment for services rendered. The payments help keep the clinic’s open. When using cash, the entire payment is expected up front. Credit cards will allow patients to pay up front with the provider and make payments to the credit company to settle the bill. Insurance may or not pay the entire payment of the bill. If there is a co-payment with the insurance card, this is an agreement with the patient and the insurance company that a small sum of money will be given to the provider’s service at the time of the visit, and the provider will bill the insurance company for the rest of the bill.
Paperwork. The dreaded filling out of the patient’s information. This includes patient history of illnesses, surgeries, and any allergies. A list of current medications the patient is taking and the patient may wish to bring the containers of the medications that were prescribed with them for complete clarification of the prescriptions.
Signing in. This is important in some clinics as the clinic take first come, first served bases. Now this can change if another patient is ready and a new patient is still filling out paperwork. The clinic may take that patient who is ready or just needs a quick service, such as reading and signing off on a patient’s TB paper that was given earlier in the week.
Once the patient is all checked in, papers and payment verified, then the patient may see an assistant that will get the patient’s weight, height, blood pressure, temperature, and so forth. Then the patient will move to an exam room where the provider will conduct the interview and examination. Followed by a plan of care, education, and a prescription if needed.
One last check with the front desk to make sure there is nothing else needed, then the patient is done with their first visit to a walk in clinic. Future visits will skip the paperwork section and expedite the time for the visit. All clinics may have a wait or no wait, it will just depend on the time and day when arriving.
Walk in clinics. Check them out. One just might meet your needs.
Mission Statement: "Couturing individual patient's/client's