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Urgent Care is an Affordable Alternative to the Emergency Room
If you suffer an injury late at night, on the weekend or a holiday when your primary care doctor may not be available, then you may be faced with the choice of going to an urgent care center or the emergency room (ER). Instead of facing the long queues and large medical bills at the ER, you can simply opt for the urgent care office as an affordable and effective alternative.
Why emergency rooms cost more
Hospital ERs always need to have a large staff on duty to attend to many patients and provide the best medical care possible. Hospitals with a trauma center have better equipment, better staffs, larger facility and are definitely more expensive to manage.
The main purpose people opt for the ER for non-emergency treatment is because, by law, the hospital’s ER is prevented from turning down patient, whether they have the money or not. Therefore, many people who have no medical insurance opt for an ER as their primary source of health care.
ERs make up for the non-paying patients by charging higher rates to others. This is why the emergency room is more costly for medical care.
The urgent care alternative
After hour urgent care centers have been around for a while, and for good purposes. They exist to bridge the space between the physician’s office and the hospital’s emergency room. Most urgent care centers are open seven days a week and late into the night. More importantly, they are not as expensive as emergency rooms. These facilities offer people a convenient and fast way to get medical care.
The facility is aimed towards minor injuries and illnesses that occur while performing our daily routine. The common conditions treated at the urgent care facility include cold and flu, cuts and scrapes, strains, sprains, fractured bones, accidents, childhood fevers and illnesses, gastrointestinal upsets and urinary tract infections. All of these are treated at a much lower cost compared to the hospital’s ER.
According to Aetna, an insurance company, over 50 percent of ER visits are avoidable. This means that the patient could have opted from treatment in an urgent care facility at a much lower cost. When considered from the health system perspective, these costs can quickly add up. Average urgent care can cost as little as 20 percent of the cost of visiting the ER, going by Aetna’s average claims cost.
That is not all…
The law in most states requires urgent care facilities to have X-ray equipment, a defibrillator and a laboratory so that they can effectively handle most of the conditions that come through. If the patient needs an advanced level of care that cannot be provided by the center, they will be referred immediately to a suitable ER or trauma facility.
Insurances companies are usually ready to oblige bills from urgent care practices. This is because they cost less for the equivalent care in a fully functional hospital ER. If you do not have insurance or the financial capacity, a more economical alternative would be to turn to urgent care.
If you suddenly become ill or get injured after working hours, it is more cost-friendly to visit the urgent care center for fast and affordable medical attention.
Call us today at (703) 743-7849 for more information from Millennium Medical Care Herndon.
Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Urgent Care in Herndon, VA.
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