Urgent Care VS Primary Care Cost

by | Nov 25, 2019 | UrgentWay Blog | 0 comments

Despite the Affordable Care Act’s attempts to ensure all Americans have access to health insurance, many people are still without coverage because of incredibly high premiums. Some people do not have access to coverage through a job, and those that do often find their spouse is not covered under their employer’s plan. And, in states that did not expand Medicaid, many poor individuals and families remain ineligible for public coverage.

According to a 2014 study done by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 27% of uninsured adults went without needed medical attention because they couldn’t afford to pay out of pocket. These individuals are also less likely to receive preventative care or services for chronic diseases.

When the uninsured do seek care, they typically go to an emergency room where they cannot be turned away. But using an ER as a doctor’s office leads to getting hit with astronomical medical bills that the uninsured simply cannot afford. These bills typically translate into medical debt, since most uninsured people have low to moderate income and little, if any, savings. Contrary to popular belief, there are affordable healthcare options for the uninsured.

Urgent Care Centers Offer Quality Low Cost Care

You may have noticed one or more urgent care centers open in your local area and wondered how they were different from traditional emergency rooms. In non-emergency situations, urgent care centers are preferable to ERs because the fees are much lower and the wait times much shorter.

These walk-in clinics are also very convenient as most have extended hours in the evening, when your primary care physician’s office is closed. They are also open on weekends and no appointment is necessary to receive needed care.
Urgent care centers have much of the same equipment as an emergency room and offer many of the same services. Though each center is different and accepts different insurance plans, most offer affordable pricing specifically for those who have no coverage

What Services are Offered at Urgent Care Centers?

You may be surprised at the wide range of services offered at your local urgent care center.

Common Illnesses

Whether you have a cold, flu, migraine, or urinary tract infection, urgent care centers can treat whatever common illness is currently ailing you.

Drug Screening

Many employers require a routine drug screening before hiring an applicant as well as during the employment of an individual. Urgent care centers offer a broad range of drug screening options that meet most employers’ unique business needs.

Eye, Ear, Nose, and Throat Care

Why go to an emergency room when your allergies are acting up or when your throat feels scratchy? Your local urgent care center can provide all needed ENT services.

Foreign Body Removal

If you’re a parent, you know all-too-well that kids get a kick out of shoving things like Legos and Cheerios up their nose or in their ears. Walk into your local urgent care center and the staff will be more than happy to remove any item from any orifice that doesn’t belong there.

Laboratory Services

Most urgent care centers have excellent laboratory services and can provide you with all kinds of testing including common blood screenings and even genetic testing.

Prescription Services

Most people are surprised to learn that the doctors at urgent care centers are able to treat patients with various IV fluids as well as prescribe any type of medication that may be needed.

Osteopathic Medicine

You might also be pleasantly surprised to know urgent care centers offer primary care specialists including family medicine, general internal medicine, pediatrics, and gynecology.

Pediatric Care

Why is it kids seem to spike that fever at 9PM when your regular doctor is closed? With urgent care centers, this is no longer a problem. No matter when your child gets sick, simply walk in to your nearest urgent care location and the licensed staff will get them feeling better.

Physicals

You or a loved one may need a physical to join a sports team, as part of your pre-employment screening, or perhaps for the Department of Transportation. Some urgent care clinics like Urgent Way offer US Immigration physicals as well.

Sports Injuries

The good news is your driving layup won the basketball game. The bad news is you landed hard and sprained your ankle. Urgent care centers see a lot of sports injuries every year from sprains to broken bones and dislocations.

Work Injuries

Whether you slipped and hurt your back in the warehouse or suffer from a repetitive motion injury, many urgent care centers treat all kinds of work related injuries.

Wound Care

You had to show off your “knife skills” while chopping onions, and now you require stitches. Your local urgent care center can get you stitched up and back home in time to finish making dinner.

Cost Comparison

Going to an emergency room with a non-emergency is a surefire way to run up a huge medical bill that will give you chest pains.

As you can see from the chart below, urgent care costs are typically one quarter of emergency room costs.

ConditionEmergency Room CostUrgent Care Cost
Allergies$345$97
Acute Bronchitis$595$127
Earache$400$110
Sore Throat$525$94
Pink Eye$370$102
Sinusitis$617$112
Strep Throat$531$111
Upper Respiratory Infection$486$111
Urinary Tract Infection$665$112

Why such huge discrepancies between the two? Emergency rooms generally have larger overhead costs, which get passed onto consumers in their bill. Also, if you walk into an ER with a sinus infection, your bill will reflect the opportunity cost to the hospital of treating you rather than someone with and actual emergency medical need. The bottom line is, if you are one of the millions of

Americans without health insurance, you are much more likely to be able to afford health care by using the services of your local urgent care facility.

UrgentWay – Providing Affordable Care to the Community

UrgentWay is committed to providing quality and affordable care to our neighbors. We understand that immediate access is important and are open 365 days a year.

With locations in Hempstead, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Hicksville, and the Bronx, we are always there when you need us the most.

While we accept most insurance plans, including worker’s compensation, private insurance, Medicaid and Medicare, we also welcome those without insurance and do our best to offer the most affordable rates and payment options. Urgent Way truly believes that all members of our community deserve quality healthcare at a price they can comfortably afford.

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