At ASAP Urgent Care in Encinitas, the attention to patients is personal, quick and typically not as costly as an emergency room visit.
Dr. Matthew Kurlan opened the office, at 519 Encinitas Boulevard, suite 106, eight years ago. The former emergency room physician of 15 years said he wanted to bring his ER experience to a more relaxed environment for patients.
"I found that a lot of what I was taking care of in the emergency room could be treated a lot easier, faster and cheaper in urgent care," he said. "When I started thinking about my office, I just had a blank sheet of paper and began thinking of what we really need to do and what we just do out of habit that's not really necessary. We don't do a lot of stuff that's not needed, and that gives us more time to listen to stories and really get into what's going on with patients."
Patients, on average, spend between 25 and 35 minutes at the urgent care office from the time they arrive to the time they leave. The office works on a walk-in basis only with no appointments.
Fees typically range between $78 and $94, most of the time. The office does not currently work with insurance, but that is something Kurlan said he is possibly looking into. Patients also have the option for a “super bill” that they can submit to their insurance companies for possible reimbursement.
"You go to the hospital and it's going to be more time and money than that," said the doctor, who has been in practice for more than 20 years.
Kurlan said he personally takes care of every patient — he can see up to 25 patients a day depending on the season — so patients only have to tell their stories once.
Kurlan, who works with a staff of medical assistants, takes patients for many illnesses and injuries. Some of the most common conditions he treats are sinus infections, bronchial infections, urinary tract infections, sprained ankles, sprained wrists and stitching. He can also perform physical examinations.
"The fact that I had training and experience in the ER allows me to pick up, from time to time, patients that are a lot sicker than they realize and send them to the hospital," Kurlan said. "Sometimes, they'll end up being admitted or going to the operating room for something they thought was just a minor thing."
As the future of healthcare becomes more uncertain and complicated, Kurlan said he believes more people will turn to urgent care offices.
"I think it's hard to pass up the convenience factor," he said. "Everybody is so busy that they don't really want to spend time sitting in the waiting room for a long time to see someone. I think they kind of value their time, and that's sort of what I've been aiming at. I want to show people they can come into my office, we'll respect their time and we won't waste time."
For more information about ASAP Urgent Care, visit asap-urgent-care.com or call 760-230-2727.
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