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Leah McCabe

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About Author — Leah likes writing about health and science subjects. Through her writing she hopes to help people of all backgrounds have equal access to information and quality healthcare.

Most PlushCare articles are reviewed by M.D.s, Ph.Ds, N.P.s, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. Click here to learn more and meet some of the professionals behind our blog. The PlushCare blog, or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For more information click here.

Urgent Care VS Doctor

It can be confusing to know whether you should go to urgent care, see your regular doctor, or go to the emergency room. We want to help you decide which care is best for your situation.

Is it Cheaper to Go to Urgent Care or Doctor?

The biggest question people usually have is whether it’s cheaper to go to urgent care or a primary care doctor – that depends on a lot of variables.

  • Some insurance companies charge the same copay for urgent care vs. doctor appointments. Others charge more for urgent care than primary care doctor visits.
  • If you don’t have insurance, it’s less clear which is cheaper. Often, a primary care doctor will be cheaper, but their prices aren’t as upfront. Many urgent care clinics have their prices posted and easy to see.

Without insurance, the cheapest option may be an online doctor like PlushCare. Online doctors have lower overhead costs than other doctors and can charge less.

In any case, you should try to avoid the emergency room unless your condition is serious. Emergency rooms are by far the most expensive type of care. They often cost $500 or more.

What Can You Get Done at Urgent Care?

A few things you can get treated at urgent care include:

Painful urination

Ear pain

Fever without a rash

Sore throat

Vomiting or diarrhea

Mild sprains, cuts, or fractures

Non-life-threatening allergic reactions

Minor insect stings or bites

Many of these things can also be treated with an online doctor appointment.


When Should You Go to the Doctor?

Sometimes, you should see your primary care doctor instead of an urgent care clinic. Go to a primary care doctor for the following situations:

Help with chronic health conditions

Referrals to specialists

Cold, cough, or flu

Skin problems

Arthritis

Substance abuse

Generally, your primary care doctor will coordinate all your health care needs.


When Should You Go to the Emergency Room?

Some situations are too severe for either an urgent care clinic or a primary care doctor. Go to the emergency room if you’re dealing with things like:

Shortness of breath

Chest pain

Severe cut or broken bone

Head or eye injury

Sudden and severe headache

Symptoms of a stroke or heart attack

Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)

Severe and persistent vomiting or diarrhea

A condition you may need to be hospitalized for

Confusion, altered mental state, suicidal thoughts

Urgent Care Online

Did you know that you can get many urgent care services online? With PlushCare you can get treatment options and electronic prescriptions for many issues that would be handled at urgent care.

Using PlushCare is easy. Make an appointment any time by clicking here or calling (888) 204-5706.

At your appointment time, you’ll tell us about your medical history and current medications. That helps us avoid potential medication errors, which can be dangerous.

If the doctor thinks you would benefit from a medication, they can electronically send it to your pharmacy. Then, all you must do is pick it up.

It really is as easy as that to get urgent care online. Call (888) 204-5706 or click here today!


Read More About Urgent Care VS Doctor

Sources

US News. Emergency Room, Urgent Care or Primary Care Physician? Accessed on September 6, 2019 at [https://health.usnews.com/health-care/patient-advice/articles/2018-02-07/emergency-room-urgent-care-or-primary-care-physician](https://health.usnews.com/health-care/patient-advice/articles/2018-02-07/emergency-room-urgent-care-or-primary-care-physician)

Self. When to Go to Urgent Care vs. the ER. Accessed on September 6, 2019 at [https://www.self.com/story/urgent-care-vs-er](https://www.self.com/story/urgent-care-vs-er)

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