Should I visit an ER or an Urgent Care?
Which option makes the most sense for my medical needs, and my budget?
What injuries or illnesses are serious enough that I should visit an ER or urgent care? Or a walk-in clinic or a doctor's office? Which healthcare provider makes the most sense for your medical needs, and your budget? You have choices when it comes to where to get medical care, however, some healthcare providers may be much more expensive than others. Use these guidelines to help you decide which healthcare provider makes the most sense for your medical need.
Emergency Room (ER)
The ER should be used for serious, life-threatening issues, such as:
- Changes in mental status, such as confusion
- Chest pain or pressure
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Sudden dizziness, weakness or changes in vision
- Sudden or severe pain
- Uncontrolled bleeding
Do you have ER questions? See our ER frequently asked questions.
Is urgent care cheaper than ER?
An urgent care visit is considerably cheaper than an emergency room visit. If your physician is not available, an urgent care clinic like CareNow® can treat a more serious illness or non-life threatening injury that needs more immediate attention, such as:
- Cuts that may need stitches
- Minor infections
- Possible broken bones or simple fractures
- Sprains or strains
If your physician is not available, a walk-in clinic, such as Walgreens Healthcare Clinic®, can treat common ailments, such as:
- Sinus infection
- Strep throat
Your physician knows your health history, and you can build a partnership together for your long-term health. See your physician for:
- Preventive care
- Routine checkups
- Treatment for non-urgent or long-term health issues
Is My Health Insurance Accepted?
HCA Midwest Health accepts most major insurance plans. Provider directories change frequently so it’s a good idea to call the phone number on your insurance card to verify a provider is in your network. And, when you go to your appointment, you should also confirm the doctor or facility is still in your network.