Reasons to Visit an Emergency Room Instead of Urgent Care Clinic : Better clinical care

Reasons to Visit an Emergency Room Instead of Urgent Care Clinic : Better clinical care

If you’re in severe pain or have been seriously injured, it’s best to go straight to a hospital emergency room. Only ERs have access to X-ray machines and CT scanners that can quickly diagnose and treat broken bones, internal bleeding and serious head injuries. ERs also offer advanced diagnostic testing—from electrocardiograms (EKGs) for heart problems to blood tests—and they’re staffed with top-level physicians who specialize in a wide range of specialties. Some urgent care clinics may offer some or all of these services, but you’ll pay extra for them at most urgent care centers—something most people don’t realize when they visit because there’s often little transparency about costs on their websites.

If you’re in severe pain or have been seriously injured, it’s best to go straight to a hospital emergency room. Only ERs have access to X-ray machines and CT scanners that can quickly diagnose and treat broken bones, internal bleeding and serious head injuries. ERs also offer advanced diagnostic testing—from electrocardiograms (EKGs) for heart problems to blood tests—and they’re staffed with top-level physicians who specialize in a wide range of specialties. Some urgent care clinics may offer some or all of these services, but you’ll pay extra for them at most urgent care centers—something most people don’t realize when they visit because there’s often little transparency about costs on their websites. When you visit an ER, most insurance companies will cover at least a portion of your bill; they won’t if you choose to go to urgent care. And while anyone can suffer from a medical issue requiring immediate attention, certain groups face greater risk: The elderly should always seek treatment at hospitals and not by using walk-in clinics, which aren’t equipped to handle conditions related to aging. The same is true for children: Younger patients should always be seen by pediatricians instead of being treated by doctors trained only in adult medicine.

If you’re in severe pain or have been seriously injured, it’s best to go straight to a hospital emergency room. Only ERs have access to X-ray machines and CT scanners that can quickly diagnose and treat broken bones, internal bleeding and serious head injuries. ERs also offer advanced diagnostic testing—from electrocardiograms (EKGs) for heart problems to blood tests—and they’re staffed with top-level physicians who specialize in a wide range of specialties. Some urgent care clinics may offer some or all of these services, but you’ll pay extra for them at most urgent care centers—something most people don’t realize when they visit because there’s often little transparency about costs on their websites. When you visit an ER, most insurance companies will cover at least a portion of your bill; they won’t if you choose to go to urgent care. And while anyone can suffer from a medical issue requiring immediate attention, certain groups face greater risk: The elderly should always seek treatment at hospitals and not by using walk-in clinics, which aren’t equipped to handle conditions related to aging. The same is true for children: Younger patients should always be seen by pediatricians instead of being treated by doctors trained only in adult medicine. Also note that as preventive care becomes more important in modern medicine, many HMOs require members to use primary care providers rather than emergency rooms for nonemergency health issues. Even simple tasks like picking up prescriptions and basic treatments like stitches or even just a routine physical are offered over urgent care centers because those processes are so much easier on a doctor’s schedule than running around doing basic checkups. Visiting an ER can get really expensive really fast: There’s no way around it—ER bills are exorbitant.

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