It’s after hours, your doctor’s office is closed, and you or your family member are in pain. You decide to try an wait it out until tomorrow morning (or maybe Monday morning) but the pain gets worse and now you have a fever. Is this an emergency? Is it an urgent care issue? Should you go to a hospital? a clinic?
An emergency is a condition that cannot wait to be treated which can lead to serious complications if ignored. An urgency is a condition, while perhaps uncomfortable, can safely wait to be treated in a day or two.
Urgent Care clinics can take care of a wide range of minor complaints from colds and sore throats to minor cuts, bumps, and bruises. However, most urgent cares lack advanced imaging technologies such as CT scan or Ultrasound which are necessary to diagnose more serious problems such as a threatened miscarriage, head trauma, or appendicitis, to name just a few. Also, Urgent Care clinics usually aren’t staffed by board certified emergency physicians; their staff are competent at what they do, but they likely don’t have the experience to manage many serious emergencies and will just call 911 for help.
Code 3 is transparent about its pricing. After providing you with a free medical screening exam, our doctors will let you know if the condition you are experiencing is an emergency or an urgent care issue. While we do not run an urgent care at this location, we may be able to offer you a prompt pay pathway to reduce your bill if you elect to stay in the ER to treat your urgent care issue. We never want anyone to receive a huge bill for what amounts to a minor care problem.