Urgent Care vs Emergency Room Costs: What You Need to Know

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Urgent care clinics and emergency rooms offer many of the same services. But choosing an urgent care clinic can save you hundreds to thousands of dollars – and many hours of time.

Read More: Navigating Urgent Care vs. Emergency Room: When to Choose Integrity Urgent Care

What is the average cost and wait time of an ER visit?

In the United States, the average cost for an emergency room visit is around $2,600 without insurance, according to UnitedHealthcare. What you pay can exceed this amount since the actual price you pay out of pocket depends on several factors, including where you live, time of day (night visits are more expensive due to staffing costs), and the diagnostic tests and treatments you receive.

If you have insurance, data from the US Department of Health shows that the nationwide co-pay average for ER services after meeting your deductible is $412.

The cost of care isn’t the only consideration – time is important, too. The average emergency room wait time is four hours.

When to seek emergency room care?

Call 911 or go to the nearest ER if you have a severe medical emergency that requires immediate attention, such as:

  • Chest pain or difficulty breathing
  • Weakness or numbness on one side of the body
  • Slurred speech
  • Head injuries, confusion, seizures, or loss of consciousness
  • Severe dizziness
  • Broken bones
  • Severe burns
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Uncontrolled bleeding

What is the average cost and wait time of an urgent care clinic?

Urgent care clinics are a middle ground between emergency rooms and primary care physicians. They can treat most medical issues that are time-sensitive but not life-or-limb-threatening. An urgent care visit could mean the difference between a $200 bill and a $2,000 bill.

An urgent care visit is between $100 and $200 – about ten times less than the average ER visit. If you have insurance, it should only be the cost of your co-pay.

Most urgent care clinics are open 7 days a week. And, on average, wait times are 30 minutes or less. Lower costs and shorter wait times are important, but so is the quality of care. Studies show that treatment for the most common illnesses and injuries at urgent care clinics is equal to or better than the care at ERs.

When to choose urgent care?

Urgent care is an excellent option if you’re not experiencing a severe emergency but can’t wait to see your primary care provider. Most clinics are open after hours and on weekends and can treat non-life-threatening issues like:

  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Colds, flu, fever, viruses
  • Earaches and ear infections
  • Sprains and minor fractures
  • Cuts, scrapes, wounds, burns
  • Sports and work-related injuries

Choose Integrity Urgent Care

If you or a loved one requires care for a non-life-threatening illness or injury, take advantage of the affordability and convenience of an urgent care clinic. You’ll receive faster treatment at a fraction of the cost.

Integrity Urgent Care, part of the Xpress Wellness family, takes urgent care to the next level by offering on-site services like x-rays and labs. Our highly-trained medical providers have ER experience, so you get quality care while avoiding the unnecessary cost of an ER visit. Walk into an Integrity Urgent Care Clinic near you or check in online.

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