(WXYZ) — With the growing crisis in health care, there's a demand for quick, reliable and affordable medical treatment. For many, the place to get it is your local urgent care.
These places are popping up everywhere, but when should you go to the ER versus urgent care. The battle lines are drawn.
If you had a medical issue right now, would you prefer urgent care or the ER? Urgent cares offer many of the same treatment options as the ER, but the pricing and wait times do not compare.
The average emergency room wait time is three hours. An urgent care walk-in patient is usually seen within 15 to 45 minutes.
Action News visited Beaumont Hospital's brand new urgent care center in Troy. Dr. Bernice Sessa is an emergency room doctor, but now is the regional medical director for Beaumont's urgent care facilities. Thirty more facilities like it are in the works.
Sessa says an urgent care visit typically runs $75 to $150 with additional costs for shots, x-rays and labs. She adds that urgent care is best for colds, flu, ear pain, sports injury, cuts, sore throat, sprains and if you need to be seen in the evening or on the weekend.
A lot of millennials want to be seen on the fly, and don't want to wait for an appointment. So Beaumont created Save My Spot. You can sign up for the time you want on their website and check in when you get there.
Still, there are moments when the ER is critical.
For example, in cases of: major trauma or accident, loss of consciousness, heart attack or chest pain, or uncontrollable bleeding. And while the cost is higher, it could mean life or death and there is no battle to be one over that.
Occasionally, an urgent care center will have RNs or NPs in lieu of doctors. Before you go, you should know the difference between doctors and nurse practitioners.
In most cases, your insurance will cover either an urgent care center or an emergency room. Exceptions include unnecessary visits and out-of-network facilities.