Answers to Common Questions about After Hours Clinics

What is an After Hours clinic?

After Hours clinics are places where you can get the same type of services you expect from your regular doctor when his or her office is closed. They are usually open during the evenings and on weekends, and typically charge less than Urgent Care clinics and emergency rooms.

You can get After Hours care without an appointment for just about anything you’d normally see your regular doctor about. Could that sore throat be strep? Not sure if your son’s ankle is sprained or broken? Is your daughter’s soccer physical due tomorrow? These are all great examples of how After Hours clinics can help when your doctor’s office is closed.

Back to top

What’s the difference between After Hours and Urgent Care clinics?

Three key differences between After Hours and Urgent Care clinics: 

  1. Hours – After Hours clinics are usually open evenings and weekends when your doctor’s office is closed. Urgent Care clinic hours may vary.
  2. Communication – We’ll update your primary doctor in writing about your After Hours care by the next day if he or she is linked on our computer system, called Epic.
  3. Cost – After Hours clinics cost about the same as a doctor’s visit. Urgent Care centers can have higher costs and insurance copays, depending on your coverage.

Back to top

What kind of care can I get at an After Hours clinic?

Know when to use the emergency room

Dr. Mesker discusses the the kind of care received at an After Hours clinic. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

 

After Hours clinics are like an extension of your primary doctor’s office, by providing the same types of services you can expect from your regular doctor, but on a somewhat urgent basis or after regular office hours. For continuity of care, it is recommended that you go to your primary care doctor for routine or travel immunizations and advice, along with routine, work or sports physicals.  But in a situation where that is not possible, you can visit an After Hours clinic.

Most After Care clinics can run blood tests and take X-rays. So if you’re not sure if your ankle is sprained or broken, after hours care is a quick alternative to the emergency room or urgent care.

If you think you or a loved one is having a life-threatening emergency, go to the nearest emergency room so you don’t delay appropriate care.

Emergency symptoms include:

  • Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
  • Severe chest or upper abdominal pain or pressure
  • Choking
  • Severe or uncontrolled bleeding
  • Suddenly not able to see, move or speak
  • Fainting, sudden dizziness, weakness or loss of consciousness
  • Poisoning
  • Deep cuts or severe burns
  • An attack by a person or animal
  • Broken bones or sudden, severe joint pain or swelling
  • Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea
  • Changes in vision
  • Any sudden or severe pain
  • Coughing or vomiting blood
  • Unusual abdominal pain
  • Suicidal feelings

Know when to use the emergency room

Back to top

How will my doctor know I’ve been to an After Hours clinic?

Dr. Mesker discusses how your doctor will know you have been seen at an After Hours clinic. Click play to watch the video orread the transcript.

 

Most After Hours clinic doctors have their own daytime practices, too. So they understand how important it is for your primary doctor to stay updated about your care. Many Dayton area physician offices and After Hours clinics are linked through electronic medical records (Premier Health Partners use a system called Epic). If you’re seen after hours, your Premier Health Partners doctor will get a letter explaining your care through the computer system so he or she can follow up with you if needed.

Back to top

What does an After Hours visit usually cost?

After Hours care costs about the same as a trip to your primary doctor. It’s much less costly than urgent or emergency care. While a trip to the emergency room averages anywhere from $500 to more than $1200 for a visit, your visit to an After Hours facility will cost only as much as a physician office visit or your insurance co-payment.

If you think you or a loved one is having a life-threatening emergency, go to the nearest emergency room so you don’t delay appropriate care.

Emergency symptoms include:

  • Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
  • Severe chest or upper abdominal pain or pressure
  • Choking
  • Severe or uncontrolled bleeding
  • Suddenly not able to see, move or speak
  • Fainting, sudden dizziness, weakness or loss of consciousness
  • Poisoning
  • Deep cuts or severe burns
  • An attack by a person or animal
  • Broken bones or sudden, severe joint pain or swelling
  • Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea
  • Changes in vision
  • Any sudden or severe pain
  • Coughing or vomiting blood
  • Unusual abdominal pain
  • Suicidal feelings

Know when to use the emergency room

Back to top

When are After Hours clinics open?

After Hours clinics are open when your doctor’s office is closed — evenings and weekends. Exact hours vary, but most After Hours clinics or open from about 7 pm to 10 pm on weeknights and during the afternoons and early evenings on weekends.

Back to top

What does an After Hours visit usually cost?

After Hours care costs about the same as a trip to your primary doctor. It’s much less costly than urgent or emergency care. While a trip to the emergency room averages anywhere from $500 to more than $1200 for a visit, your visit to an After Hours facility will cost only as much as a physician office visit or your insurance co-payment.

If you think you or a loved one is having a life-threatening emergency, go to the nearest emergency room so you don’t delay appropriate care.

Emergency symptoms include:

  • Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
  • Severe chest or upper abdominal pain or pressure
  • Choking
  • Severe or uncontrolled bleeding
  • Suddenly not able to see, move or speak
  • Fainting, sudden dizziness, weakness or loss of consciousness
  • Poisoning
  • Deep cuts or severe burns
  • An attack by a person or animal
  • Broken bones or sudden, severe joint pain or swelling
  • Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea
  • Changes in vision
  • Any sudden or severe pain
  • Coughing or vomiting blood
  • Unusual abdominal pain
  • Suicidal feelings

Know when to use the emergency room

Back to top

When are After Hours clinics open?

After Hours clinics are open when your doctor’s office is closed — evenings and weekends. Exact hours vary, but most After Hours clinics or open from about 7 pm to 10 pm on weeknights and during the afternoons and early evenings on weekends.

Back to top

How can someone tell if a cut needs stitches?

Typically, a cut needs stitches if you can’t bring the skin back together on your own and have it stay that way, Premier Physician Network (PPN) physicians.

Deep cuts where you can see the tendons or any parts that shouldn’t be able to be seen through the skin also need stitches. If you’re having trouble getting a cut to stop bleeding, that could also be a sign you need stitches.

Talk to your doctor for more information about how to tell if a cut needs stitches.

Back to top

Do all cuts or scratches require stitches?

Not all cuts and scratches need stitches. Actually, most can heal on their own, according to Premier Physician Network (PPN) physicians.

Stitches are not needed for minor cuts and scratches you might get on a regular, everyday basis. They are only needed when other ways of closing a cut aren’t working.

Talk to your doctor for more information about what cuts and scratches need stitches.

Back to top

What are long-term risks that can come with not properly caring for a cut?

The biggest long-term risk you face if you don’t properly care for a cut is infection, according to Premier Physician Network (PPN) physicians.

People don’t often wash their hands just before getting cut, so it can be easy for germs and bacteria to get into a wound when the cut first happens.

Other risks include excess blood loss from deep wounds, bleeding to death, and having debris or a piece of an object stuck inside the cut.

It’s important to care for both minor and more major cuts to avoid these kinds of long-term health issues.

Talk with your doctor to find out more long-term risks of not properly caring for a cut.

Back to top

Thanks to these Premier Physician Network doctors for answering these common questions about After Hours clinics:

Additional Resources

This website provides general medical information that should be used for informative and educational purposes only. Information found here should not be used as a substitute for the personal, professional medical advice of your physician. Do not begin any course of treatment without consulting a physician.

FacebookTwitterYouTubeInstagram