Did you know that prices can be up to 10 times higher at a freestanding ER than Urgent Care center? I just read it in an article put out by Blue Cross Blue Shield with a title that caught my attention, would you pay up to 10 times more for the same pair of shoes just because of the store location? Now, I love shoes but I love a great deal much better !
I am having to incorporate into my employee benefit meetings an explanation of the newest trend in Emergency Rooms, the freestanding ER. The freestanding ER is much different than the Urgent Care facility we have grown accustomed to. They can treat a true emergency in most instances just as a hospital ER, except they are not attached to the hospital. They can be found close to residential areas and because they are ERs, they charge a facility fee, just like the ER at the hospital.
If you ask up front if they will bill at the urgent care rate, provided it is a non emergency situation, most times they will- provided it is prior to 7:00 PM. I recommend to my clients to know where the urgent care providers are in their area as opposed to ER in case they need to use them for colds, minor stitches or sprains. It could save you significant dollars in claim costs-
Feel free to contact us with questions!
Sharon N. McReynolds