A Dialysis patient left a message on the KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Page (60,000 friends) and said, "There are times that I feel like I need immediate care, but I do not know if I should go to the Emergency Room or just go to Urgent Care. What is the difference? Is it less expensive for Urgent Care? How do I determine if the ER is necessary?"
This question is not uncommon for Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients since it is difficult to determine how serious many common symptoms associated with Dialysis and Kidney Failure may actually be. For instance, after Dialysis Treatments, a patient's heart rate can be elevated. This could be a side effect of Dialysis or a sign that a patient's potassium is too high. Also, feeling bloated and coughing could be a sign that a patient needs more fluid removed during treatment or a more serious issue of pneumonia or infection. The following are key facts that Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients should know when determining Emergency Room versus Urgent Care visits - including price differences:
The Annals of Internal Medicine reported, "The bottom line is that an Urgent Care visit is substantially cheaper than an Emergency Room visit." For the same condition, costs at the ER can double, triple, quadruple or be even higher in price; which is troubling for patients who are often on a fixed income. Expensive Emergency Room visits include:
- Allergies - Emergency Room: $345 versus Urgent Care: $97
- Acute Bronchitis - Emergency Room: $595 versus Urgent Care: $127
- Earache - Emergency Room: $400 versus Urgent Care: $110
- Sore Throat - Emergency Room: $525 versus Urgent Care: $94
- Pink Eye - Emergency Room: $370 versus Urgent Care: $102
- Sinusitis - Emergency Room: $617 versus Urgent Care: $112
- Strep Throat - Emergency Room: $531 versus Urgent Care: $111
- Upper Respiratory Infection - Emergency Room: $486 versus Urgent Care: $111
- Urinary Tract Infection - Emergency Room: $665 versus Urgent Care: $112
Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients should note that Urgent Care is simply a care need that isn’t an emergency but can’t wait for routine (non-urgent) visits. Examples include: Minor injuries and cuts, Sore throats and earaches, Frequent or severe coughs, as well as Frequent restroom use or burning sensations.
On the other hand, Emergency Room care is necessary for a medical or psychiatric condition that requires immediate medical attention to prevent serious jeopardy to your health. Examples include: Chest pain or pressure, Severe stomach pain that comes on suddenly, Decrease in or loss of consciousness, Severe shortness of breath, and excessive bleeding.
Still, if you think you have a medical or psychiatric emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest Emergency Department. How often do you go to the Emergency Room every year? Your insights could be very helpful to other patients so share your responses with the over 60,000 friends who have liked the KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Page (click here to leave a comment). Also, consider following the nearly 150,000 monthly visitors on KidneyBuzz.com for your Number One (#1) source of Daily News, Information, Impact Meals, Inspirational Quotes, and tailored Products and Services which teach Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis, Kidney Transplant, Diabetes and High Blood Pressure patients how to better manage and improve their lives.