Being treated at an urgent care facility can cost six times less than a visit to a hospital ER. Then again, if you go to a clinic when you really need a hospital, the consequences could be way worse than a fat bill.
The folks at Coupon Sherpa, in a special post at Wise Bread, rounded up a bunch of stats to compare costs between urgent care facilities and ERs. The average costs for treating nine common ailments are three to six times higher at ERs.
The average urgent care center charges $97 for allergy-related problems, whereas ERs standardly charge $345.
Visit an urgent care center for a sore throat, and your average bill will be $94; at an ER, the average tab comes to $525.
Urinary Tract Infections
Experts recommend you see a doctor as soon as you experience urinary tract infection symptoms. Treatment at urgent care will run $110, as opposed to $665 for a visit to the ER.
The moral is: Don’t go to the emergency room unless it’s a real emergency. The problem is that often, you don’t know what exactly is wrong, and if the situation reaches the level of emergency-hood. That’s why you go see a doctor in the first place.