Santa Monica Urgent Care at 524 Colorado Blvd, in Santa Monica may have tons of good reviews on Yelp, great staff and physicians but if you have a medical issue that needs quick treatment but is not life threatening, Santa Monica Urgent Care doesn't care about you if your insurance coverage is Medicare.
Here's the first sentence from their well designed, easy-to-navigate web site: SantaMonicaUrgentCare.com. "At Santa Monica Urgent Care your health is our priority." If that were true, they'd take Medicare. They take Worker's Comp but not Medicare. They take the uninsured but not sick people insured through Medicare. If you own a medical care facility that accepts Worker's Comp or the uninsured -- like this place -- you should find a way to accept Medicare regardless. It’s shameful that a health/medical care facility that — I would assume — needs local, county and state licenses, approvals and must meet many medical standards DOES NOT ACCEPT MEDICARE. It’s not like this place is a tavern or a clothing store providing serves or products that, if withheld from me, would harm me or the community in which I live.
I normally would not see a doctor because of a sore throat but this one has gotten gradually worse over 5 days and today I have a fever as well. Since I've been a pretty healthy person all my life, I don't have a family physician. My options are: 1) get an appointment with a doctor I find through some Google search until I find one that accepts Medicare then wait 4 to 6 weeks for the “new patient” appointment; meanwhile the untreated sore throat creates complications that will make recovery and the associated expense of recovery even more severe, 2) wait hours in an emergency room, possibly spreading what ever I have, only to find out they don't take Medicare either or that my condition is not considered an emergency and to call my doctor, 3) pretend to be uninsured and pay Santa Monica Urgent Care for procedures covered under Medicare insurance (which won't reimburse me) or 4) just walk around with this condition and hope I'm not spreading bird flu or strep or what ever it is.
This may not be the only urgent care facility in Santa Monica and others may take Medicare -- but IF YOU HAVE MEDICARE DON'T EXPECT MEDICAL HELP AT THIS PLACE. Take your Medicare and money that would cover the unpaid portion of the bill elsewhere because YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE MEDICAL HELP HERE. I see that urgent care facilities fill a real need in the community -- unless you're insurance coverage is through Medicare.
Besides this blog post I left reviews for Santa Monica Urgent Care on Yelp, Twitter, Facebook If Santa Monica Urgent Care wants to change its policy so that Medicare is accepted, I would consider changing the reviews and entries I left in the aftermath of this issue. I hope they do.