Should you go to the ER or Urgent Care? How to Decide
How are you supposed to decide if you should be visiting an Urgent Care facility or going straight to the Emergency Room?
It’s important to know where to go when you’re dealing with an illness or injury. If you need immediate medical attention, your first thought may be to go to the emergency room (ER). But if your condition isn’t serious or life-threatening, you may have a less expensive choice. An urgent care center provides quality care like an ER, but can save you hundreds of dollars.
The average cost of an ER visit is about $1,300 to $1,400. But many urgent care visits cost an average of $150. If you have insurance, you’ll see a difference in your copay and other out-of-pocket expenses. (HealthGrades)
A trip to the Emergency Rooms should be reserved for true medical emergencies. The Emergency Room handles life-threatening situations, trauma, and health issues that need surgical attention. Most hospitals have an emergency room that’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but that does not mean it is your best option for urgent care.
An emergency room may be best if you experience: (Cigna)
Research suggests approximately 60 percent of ER patients could be seen at urgent care centers. According to experts, that would result in an 80 percent reduction in insurer costs and a 58 percent reduction in consumer costs. (PhysicianOne)
Urgent care centers handle non-life-threatening situations, and many are staffed with doctors and nurses who have access to x-rays and labs onsite. Most urgent care centers are open late and on weekends and holidays.
An urgent care center can treat you for common conditions such as: (Cigna)
BenefitsApp has the unique ability to hold searchable databases within the app. These databases can list all urgent care faculties in a specific area, giving employees low-cost options to avoid the high-cost of emergency room visits.