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What is the Difference between Urgent Care Clinic and Free-Standing Emergency Rooms?

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Have you noticed? Free standing Emergency Rooms are on every street corner in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. While the facilities seem convenient and advertise “no wait time,” they are rarely in any insurance carrier’s network and the cost does not count toward your in-network medical deductible. Furthermore, since these facilities are not in-network they are able to balance bill patients, which leads to exorbitant out-of-pocket costs. It is recommended that if individuals need care and their Primary Care Physician’s office is closed, to use an Urgent Care Clinic.

Free-Standing Emergency Room
Did You Know?
  • The average cost of care at a freestanding Emergency Room in Texas was $2,199 in 2015, compared with $168 at an Urgent Care.
  • It is estimated that $18 billion could be saved nationwide if patients avoided ERs for non-urgent issues and utilized Urgent Care, Primary Care Physicians or Telemedicine
It is important to know the difference between an URGENT CARE and EMERGENCY ROOM to avoid potentially exorbitant out-of-pocket emergency costs.
When Should You Go to an Urgent Care Clinic?
These conditions may be treated at Urgent Care clinics:
  • Fever
  • Ear Pain
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Rashes, cuts, or scrapes
  • Bone X-Rays, sprains, or strain
When Should You Go to an Emergency Room?
These conditions may be treated at an Emergency Room:
  • Heart attack symptoms
  • High fever with stiff neck, mental confusion
  • Wounds that won’t stop bleeding
  • Stroke
Note: If you are experiencing any one of these conditions above, it is recommended that you visit an ER attached to a hospital.


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