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August 5, 2013

Avoiding Emergency Rooms in Non-Emergency Situations

Filed under: Health Insurance — Jeff @ 1:26 pm

An emergency is a situation that poses an immediate risk to health, life, property, or environment. Too often people end up in emergency rooms for items that are not emergencies and then they wonder why the emergency room charged them so much when the hospital ONLY did {fill in name of service}. Urgent care centers are equipped to provide immediate care in NON-emergency situations. Here is a tongue in cheek break down of which facility you should go to in different situations:

If you need a couple stitches – Urgent Care Center
If you need a couple DOZEN stitches – Emergency Room

If you have a stomach ache – Urgent Care Center
If you can see your stomach – Emergency Room

Just know the difference so you do not needlessly go to the most expensive place to get medical care. But, also be able to recognize symptoms so you do not ignore something that DOES need immediate care. Most insurance companies charge a larger copay (or separate deductible) if you go to an emergency room, but then waive that if you are admitted to the hospital. Obviously, if you were admitted, then you DID indeed have an emergency. They otherwise are trying to discourage you from going for non-emergencies. When we meet with employees, we try to educate them so that they understand how they can save money by going to the appropriate medical providers. Locate your nearest urgent care center(s) so you are prepared for you next non-emergency.