Every year over 2 million visitors from all over the world travel to the beautiful island of Maui for a variety of reasons, from romantic honeymoons to enjoying adventure sports on the land and in the water, to sampling Pacific Rim cuisine and Polynesian culture. Whatever brings you to Maui, visitors do sometimes wind up with minor injuries such as a jellyfish sting, coral scrape, strains and sprains, sunburn, rashes, or an allergic reaction to unfamiliar foods, like mangos. In fact, the Hawaii Health Association noted that between 2008-2012, 30% of all of all injury-related hospitalizations were from visitors to the state. With the average visitor stay in Maui being eight nights, picking the right urgent care center should you become ill or injured can not only help you get the care you need, it can also help you save your vacation. Here are five tips on picking the best urgent care center on Maui.
1. Finding The Right Match
Finding the right place for your medical needs is much like finding the right primary care doctor. Feeling comfortable with your physician is a critical step in choosing the right Maui Urgent Care Center. Before you walk in the door, call and ask if you can speak to an available physician. Ask him or her questions about how they handle medical conditions such as, do they take a more traditional approach, or do they recommend alternative treatment options? Once you feel comfortable with their style of care, you'll feel more confident that you're choosing the right medical provider. In addition to the style of care, you should also ask how long your physician has lived in Hawaii. The islands are home to very unique organisms that visitors can find themselves allergic to, including flowers like protea, foods such as poi, and marine life like Potters Angel fish and sea fan coral. These rare flora and fauna only exist here or in just a few remote areas in the world, so visitors are unlikely to have had any previous contact with them. That's why a local physician who understands what to look for and the right questions to ask is crucial to making the right diagnosis so you can get better faster, and back to enjoying your vacation.
Maui, and in particular the east side of the island, has many remote areas that are popular visitor destinations but far from the commercial hubs where most urgent care centers are located. For instance, if you were staying at the Travaasa Hotel in Hana, Maui, and needed to visit your nearest urgent care clinic, you'd have drive 4-5 hours to get there, which would result in you missing an entire day of your vacation in paradise. In many cases finding a Maui-based urgent care center that offers telemedicine visits is the best option for accessing medical care. Having the ability to see your Hawai'i-licensed physician from your computer, tablet, or mobile device can save you time and help you quickly decide whether you need to make a trip into the nearest urgent care center or hospital. In most instances, your doctor can fax or call in a prescription to the nearest pharmacy saving you hours of travel time.
When searching for the right urgent care center in Maui it's important to ask about payment and coverage options. Many urgent care centers offer only local insurance including HMA, UHA, HMMA or Kaiser Your Choice coverage that can result in a higher out-of-pocket cost for visitors. Calling and asking about coverage before you show up can save you time and money. No insurance? Don't worry, most walk-in clinics offer a rate for people without insurance -- but you'll want to know up front what those costs are so you can make the most informed healthcare decision.
4. Ask The Experts
Your hotel or timeshare concierge provides a great place to start your urgent care search. They deal with hundreds of visitors and are very familiar the activities that can result in injuries for the under or unprepared, like ocean dives, surf schools, and day hikes in more rugged areas. Consequently, they have relationships with the closest urgent care centers. As soon as you determine that you need care, make your concierge the first stop on your journey to feeling better.
5. Dig Deeper
Once you have a few walk-in care locations in mind, go online and read about experiences other visitors have had. Check sites like Yelp, Google Places, Facebook and the urgent care centers' websites for customer testimonials and star ratings. Picking a location that has good reviews and clinic pictures will help reduce your anxiety, make a more informed healthcare decision, and result in a better overall medical care experience.