When To Go To the Urgent Care vs. ER
When To Go To the Urgent Care vs. ER
Learn Where to Go
If you need medical attention and it is not an emergency,* call your primary care provider (PCP)** or contact a doctor on the Texas Health Aetna ER Doc app. Download the Texas Health Aetna ER Doc app.
Still not sure where to go?
Check out the chart below to learn your next best treatment options:
I have a health issue, but it is minor. Walk-in Clinic: Walk-in clinics can help with minor health issues such as a cold, flu, sore or strep throat, ear infections, allergies and bronchitis. You’ll find walk-in clinics at a local store or pharmacy. They are often open in the evening and on weekends. Average wait time is 15 minutes(1); Average Cost of Visit: $120***
I have an urgent health issue, but my life or limb is not in danger. Urgent Care Center: Urgent care centers provide treatment for serious but notlife-threatening health issues such as sprains, cuts that require stitches, bronchitis, flu, lower back pain and headaches. Many urgent care centers offer imaging, X-rays and lab services. Average wait time is 15-45 minutes (2); Average Cost of Vist: $190***
I have an urgent health issue and my life or limb is in danger. Emergency Room: The emergency room at your local hospital provides treatment for emergencies. These include potentially life-threatening health issues such as chest pain, breathing problems and severe bleeding. Emergency rooms are always open. Average wait time is 58 minutes (3); Average cost of visit: $1000-$3000***
*You should always call 911 for medical emergencies or go directly to an emergency care facility. A medical emergency is an event that you reasonably believe threatens your or someone else’s life or limb in such a manner that immediate medical care is needed to prevent death or serious impairment of health. A medical emergency includes severe pain, bad injury, a serious illness or a medical condition that is quickly getting much worse.
**In Texas, PCP is known as physician (primary care).
***These figures represent Texas average costs based on Aetna claims costs in 2017 and are for illustrative purposes only. Member responsibility may vary by location, plan option and services provided.
(1) Convenient Care Association. Fact sheet — Convenient care clinics: increasing access. Available at: ccaclinics.org/research-a-resources/fact-sheets andccaclinics.org/images/PDF/CCA_IncreasingAccess_2017.pdf. Accessed July 23, 2018.
(2) Urgent Care Association of America. Benchmarking survey. Available at: c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.ucaoa.org/resource/resmgr/Benchmarking/UCAOA-BenchmarkSurvey_Infogr.pdf. Accessed July 23, 2018.
(3) Hing E, Bhuiya F. Wait time for treatment in hospital emergency departments: 2009. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at: cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db102.htm. Accessed April 30, 2018.
Health benefits and health insurance plans are offered and/or underwritten by Texas Health + Aetna Health Plan Inc. and Texas Health + Aetna Health Insurance Company (Texas Health Aetna). Each insurer has sole financial responsibility for its own products. Texas Health Aetna is an affiliate of Texas Health Resources and of Aetna Life Insurance Company and its affiliates (Aetna). Aetna provides certain management services to Texas Health Aetna.
Self-funded plans are administered by Texas Health + Aetna Health Insurance Company.
Apple and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Android and Google Play are trademarks of Google LLC.
The Texas Health Aetna ER Doc app is a health care communications platform developed and serviced by CirrusMD Inc. (“CirrusMD”). Texas Health Aetna has contracted with Acute Care Transitions, LLP (“ACT”) to provide access to emergency medicine physicians in Texas through the app. CirrusMD, ACT and ACT physicians are independent contractors and are neither agents nor employees of Texas Health Aetna, its affiliates or plans administered by Texas Health Aetna.
This message is for informational purposes only, is not medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for proper medical care provided by a physician. Information is believed to be accurate as of the production date; however, it is subject to change. For more information about Texas Health Aetna plans, refer to texashealthaetna.com.