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Home Healthcare Consumers When to visit your PCP, Urgent Care, or ER

When to visit your PCP, Urgent Care, or ER

There are many situations where Urgent Care provides a better option than the ER. Approximately 30% of ER visits are not only unnecessary, but end up costing 10x or more than the services provided in Urgent Care.

Before facing new or urgent medical issues, you should understand the place of service to best meet your healthcare needs.

Primary Care

For scheduled appointments and select non-emergency needs, including 24/7 virtual visits

Why to visit your Primary Care:

  • Routine wellness visits
  • Monitoring chronic conditions e.g. diabetes or high blood pressure
  • Follow-up after hospital admissions or Emergency Department visit – within seven days
  • Non-urgent symptoms requiring a work-up to determine a cause

Conditions treated by PCP:

  • Flu symptoms (cough, fever, or sore throat)
  • Rash
  • Muscle strain or sprain
  • Pink eye
  • Sinus problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes care
  • Asthma or upper respiratory infections/walking pneumonia
  • Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) such as frequent urination or pain when passing urine

Average cost: Least expensive option

Urgent Care

Visit an Urgent Care center if your PCP is unavailable and problem is NOT life-threatening)

Why to visit your Urgent Care:

  • No appointment required
  • Extended hours available
  • Specialized equipment and highly trained health care professionals to respond to most medical emergencies

Conditions treated in Urgent Care:

  • If your PCP is unavailable to meet your immediate needs, please visit Urgent Care for ALL conditions listed under Primary Care.
  • Broken bone(s)

Average cost: 2x Primary Care visit

Emergency Care

Call 911 or go to nearest ER for life-threatening emergencies requiring immediate care.

Why to visit the Emergency Room (ER):

  • Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year Severe impairment in one or more bodily function(s)
  • Severe dysfunction of one or more body organ(s) or part(s)

Note: Please follow-up with your Primary Care Physician within 7 days of your emergency room or hospital visit.

Conditions treated in the ER:

  • Symptoms of a possible heart attack or stroke
  • Symptoms of a serious infection, e.g. high fever and chills
  • Serious injuries
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Broken bone(s)

Average cost: 10x – 30x more than Primary Care visit

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