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ER vs. Urgent Care vs. Quick Clinics?

So many options, so little clarity. Where you go for care matters not only in regards to how much it will cost but also in what services they can perform.

 

Emergency Room visit

With an Emergency Room visit, you have the highest possible cost with the longest possible wait times (unless it’s a critical issue). However, the highest price brings the greatest array of treatment options, including immediate blood testing and full medical scanning.

PROS

  • Greatest array of treatment options

CONS

  • Higher cost
  • Longer wait times

Symptoms or conditions that warrant an Emergency Room visit include:

  • Large open wounds
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Sudden change of vision
  • Chest pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Major burns
  • Head injury
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Sudden weakness

Urgent Care visit

With an Urgent Care visit, you have moderate bills and typically brief wait times. While many Urgent Care facilities are located in hospitals, they do not have the same access to testing and equipment of an Emergency Room. For example, there is no immediate blood testing or medical scanning.

PROS

  • Moderate Bills
  • Shorter wait times

CONS

  • Limited access to testing and equipment

Symptoms or conditions that warrant an Urgent Care visit include:

  • Small cuts
  • Minor bleeding
  • Sprains
  • Minor broken bones
  • Rashes
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Pelvic infections
  • Mild asthma attacks
  • Sore throat

Quick Clinic visit

With a quick clinic visit, you’ll have the lowest cost and the shortest wait times. You’ll also have the most limited availability of medical treatments, tests and expertise.

PROS

  • Lowest costs
  • Shortest wait times

CONS

  • Limited availbility of medical treatment,tests and expertise

Symptoms or conditions that warrant a quick clinic visit include:

  • Mild fever
  • Mononucleosis
  • Dry skin/rashes
  • Allergy
  • Rash
  • Indigestion/heartburn
  • Strep test
  • Flu shots
  • Sinus infection
  • Gout