A recent NBC-12 special report on the importance of understanding the difference between urgent care centers and freestanding emergency rooms inspired thousands of viewers to contact the station on social media. Many had faced large, unexpected doctor bills–similar to the woman in the profiled in the first story, who had paid almost $2,000 for 25 minutes of care in a pop-up ER. In response to the overwhelming response, the station did a follow-up story on May 31, turning to BetterMed Urgent Care Medical Director, Mark Rausch, M.D., for his expertise.
“There’s a lot of confusion out there, and there really is a huge difference between urgent care and emergency care,” said investigative reporter Rachel DePompa, introducing the story. She noted that the freestanding ERs, which are not physically attached to hospitals, are required by law to have Emergency Room in red on the building. Unlike urgent care centers, these new ERs charge emergency room prices.
Dr. Rausch said lots of people are confused about where to go for an emergency. While urgent care centers are appropriate for acute injuries and illnesses, the new pop-up centers are meant for emergencies, such as heart attacks, strokes, sepsis and severely broken bones.
“If you don’t have time to think, you probably should be in an emergency department,” said Rausch.
To watch the interview, and hear more about the different types of illnesses and injuries served by the facilities, please visit… (link)