Where for Care? Make the Right Decision for Your Health & Your Wallet
Medical emergencies can happen at any time. Do you know where you’ll go for care when you and your family need it most? Create your plan before an emergency happens.
Understanding where to go for care can affect how much you pay, how long you wait and the treatment you receive. Cost is typically determined based on the type of facility you visit – not just your injury or condition. Your primary care provider will usually be the least expensive option, followed by urgent care. The ER, being a higher level of care, is typically the costliest option.
Primary care is your first line of support when seeking healthcare. These practitioners treat chronic and urgent conditions and get to know you and your health needs. Urgent care is for non-life-threatening conditions when your primary care doctor or clinician isn’t available, and a good reason to see them would be for a cut that needs stitches, bronchitis or an ear infection, for example. And the emergency room is for life-threatening situations and any type of medical emergency—things like a burn, bone break, poisoning, head injury or major wound.
“At St. Vincent Health we want to emphasize that there’s no wrong door,” says Brett Antczak, CEO. “We have family practice at St. Vincent Family Health Center. Urgent care patients are seen at both the hospital and the health center. And of course, our ER, staffed with board-certified doctors, is available 24/7 at the hospital.”
Urgent care hours at the family health center and hospital are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. M-F and 8:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekends.
A handy reference in determining primary, urgent or emergency care is the WhereForCare.org website, where you can learn more about each of the three types of healthcare and when to utilize them.