FAQ: Visiting Urgent Care

Urgent care is a great resource for times when non-emergency illnesses or injuries happen and you aren’t able to visit your primary care provider right away. Urgent care provides prompt treatment for conditions such as cold and flu, nausea and vomiting, fever, pink eye, rash, allergies, migraine headaches, back pain, minor broken bones, sprains, lacerations and burns.

People tend to have some common questions about urgent care and how it works. These answers were compiled with the help of Jeffrey Keil, MD, medical director of UNC Urgent Care, and Arisa Fulmer, RN, clinical practice manager at UNC’s Cary and Apex urgent care locations.

Where’s the closest urgent care to me?

UNC Urgent Care has locations across the Triangle and beyond. Here’s a list of locations and where you can learn more about them:

Apex, Cary, Holly Springs, Knightdale, Morrisville, Raleigh, Wakefield, Garner, Carolina Pointe II, UNC Family Medicine Center at Chapel Hill, Clayton, Rockingham

How long will I have to wait to be seen?

You can check the wait time on each location’s website before you arrive (see previous question for links). You can reserve a spot in line before you get there by clicking “reserve my spot now.” This option will ask the reason for your visit and will allow you to choose an appointment time. You can also transfer your place in line if you decide you’d like to visit a different UNC Urgent Care location.

When you download the UNC Health App, you can view the urgent care location closest to you, as well as compare wait times at the urgent care locations nearest to you.

Is one urgent care better than another?

No. If you’ve decided urgent care is your best treatment option, it doesn’t matter which one you visit. All UNC Urgent Care locations offer care for patients starting at 4 months of age and treat the same illnesses and injuries. Our locations provide on-site testing and imaging services, so if you need a diagnostic test or X-ray, you can get it done during your visit.

Do these urgent care locations take my insurance?

The best way to find out if a location takes your insurance is to contact your insurer. Most insurance cards have a toll-free number on the back that you can call to ask which urgent care locations are in your network.

Can I get a referral to a specialist from an urgent care?

UNC Urgent Care doctors typically do not refer to specialists. Most insurance plans require referrals to originate with a primary care physician instead of urgent care. UNC does provide patients with a list of specialists they could choose from if they are advised to see another doctor. Depending on the situation, some specialists do not require referrals for new patients.

Will my primary care provider be able to access information about my urgent care visit?

If your primary care provider is affiliated with UNC Health Care, he or she should be able to access your visit information to ensure you have continuity of care. All you have to do is tell the people at the urgent care’s front desk who your provider is, and your doctor should receive a record of your visit.

UNC also participates in the “Care Everywhere” network, which allows physicians from other organizations who use our electronic medical records system, Epic, to review patient information.

What if I need urgent care but can’t make it to a physical location?

If you want care in the comfort of your home, you can choose UNC Urgent Care 24/7, which gives you a virtual consult through secure video on your device. You can also call the toll-free number, (888) 909-9681, or download the app, available in the Apple App Store and on Google Play. Virtual visits are $49 or less, depending on insurance.

 Download the UNC Health App to view the UNC Urgent Care location closest to you.