Emergency Care Breaking Your Bank?

Friday, September 28, 2012

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When a hectic and health threatening situation arises, the first thought that comes to mind is dialing 911, but when do we think about the cost of that necessary ambulance ride? You would never want to put a price on someone’s life; however, the emergency room can actually charge a pretty penny for simple procedures. In college, accidents can happen in the blink of an eye and luckily a majority of us students have health insurance either through the university or parents. On average, a trip to the Emergency Room for respiratory issues or digestive discomfort may cost anywhere from $300-$1,000 claimed by Wellmark Insurance1! The cost of what you actually pay depends on your insurance coverage, the hospital you are treated at, and what procedures are done. Most of the time with health coverage, we only have to pay $20-30 out of our own pocket if the visit is for something minor. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a place that was less expensive than the Emergency Room? 

Over the past several years Urgent Care Centers have been on the rise when it comes to immediate care. The American Academy of Urgent Care Medicine defines urgent care medicine as outpatient aid for those in need of immediate treatment or suffer from acute to minor injuries and illness. These centers are a great alternative when your primary care physician is away, the doctor’s office is closed, and when you don’t want to deal with the emergency room wait. Since health professionals who work at these centers are on the “front lines” of the diagnosis, they have a wide knowledge of all several medical fields and are sometimes referred to as a “doc in a box” according to Health magazine. Urgent care centers typically cost 1/3 to 1/2 the amount of an emergency room visit, Dr. Ritucci expressed to Health magazine in Saving on Care: Emergency Room vs. Urgent Care Facilities. One more positive aspect of urgent care is that the centers accept a range of insurances and discounts may be offered!

You can find an Urgent Care Center around you by checking out HealthCare.com. There you can specify the state and town you are trying to locate an urgent care facility near! In Durham there are several hospitals and urgent care centers in the surrounding towns that are available to everyone. If you ever need to make the decision to go to an Urgent Care Center over the ER make sure that the patient is not in a life threatening condition. From now on don’t let a broken bone cause you to break your bank!

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