People's Forum: Health care Opting for urgent care center more costly for patient
Urgent care center cost patient more than trip to emergency room
Posted on Jan. 19, 2014 at 12:00 a.m.
| Updated on Jan. 19, 2014 at 6:16 p.m.
I am writing in response to the Jan. 7 letter by Michael Ridenour, “Urgent care clinics offer reasonable, affordable aid.”
My husband was in need of medical treatment on Sunday, Dec. 1. Glancing at his insurance card, his urgent care co-pay was $40 and his emergency co-pay was $200.
We opted to go the nearest urgent care facility.
Upon examination by the physician, it was determined that my husband needed an X-ray. The urgent care facility did not have an X-ray machine. We were sent to Elkhart General Hospital. We had paid the $40 co-pay to the urgent care facility at the time of service. I thought that took care of the entire treatment he received that day. I was wrong. We received a bill from Radiology Inc. for the reading of his X-ray and a bill from Elkhart General for the X-ray itself. When I called his insurance company, I was told that he was charged for the X-ray and reading separately from his urgent care copay because we went to a different site for those services. I was also told even if the urgent care did have an X-ray machine, if they did not own it or bill for it then it would have been billed separately also. I asked my husband’s insurance representative what we would have been responsible for if we had gone straight to the emergency room to receive his treatment. I was told the $200 emergency room co-pay would have been the total cost. Due to the recent wait times reported by Dr. Van Ryn, our future choice will be the Elkhart General Hospital emergency room. We thought going to an urgent care facility would be saving us both time and money. We were wrong.