19 Mar New Study Says Freestanding ERs Cost Much More than Urgent Care
What’s the difference between a freestanding emergency department (FSED), emergency room (ER), and urgent care? Quite a lot of money according to a study in the Journal of Emergency Medicine—and that comes as no surprise to the Mend Clinic team. Most patients are familiar with the ER, but an FSED is an emergency department not attached to a hospital. They might be affiliated with a hospital or completely independent. In fact, they sound a lot like an urgent care clinic, but that can be an expensive mistake to make.
There’s been a significant increase in FSEDs since 2009 according to the report, especially since some urgent care clinics are converting to FSEDs. Researchers looked at three such conversions in Texas and found that visits decreased up to 94.8 percent after turning into an FSED. However, reimbursement for visits increased up to 1,369 percent. Lead author Dr. Sabrina J. Poon of Vanderbilt University Medical Center says, “This study highlights some of the payment reimbursement structures that are not ideally suited to the patient or to our health care system as a whole.”
Of course, it’s clear why an FSED is a profitable model for the clinic owners. “This study shines a light on these reimbursement structures and how they can potentially be used to increase revenue,” says Dr. Poon. She joined the study to figure out if FSEDs were similar in costs to ERs and urgent care clinics. However, even she was surprised by the astonishing results.
Mend Clinic Is Your Urgent Care Clinic in Salem, OR
Unsurprisingly, the primary reason patients went to FSEDs was for convenience. “They are located in a place that is easy to get to, there is a shorter wait time, and the list of services or care provided is what patients are looking for,” explains Dr. Poon. However, these are the exact same benefits of an urgent care clinic, but at a much higher cost. It’s likely that patients aren’t aware of the high costs when visiting an FSED, since it can look a lot like an urgent care clinic. Mend Clinic is your urgent care clinic in Salem, OR that keeps costs low and is definitely not an FSED. Walk in today, or make an appointment online to be seen even faster.