How to Choose: Emergency Room vs. Urgent Care Center?

Blog Post created by go365admin on Sep 9, 2015


Photo used under creative use license courtesy of Rosser321


The choice between going to an emergency room (ER) or urgent care center is one we all would rather not make. Unfortunately, accidents happen.


According to recent research, 71% of ER visits are for causes that do not require immediate attention. By understanding your options ahead of time, you may be able to save time and money while you seek immediate medical care. Ultimately, the choice between the ER and an urgent care center should be based on how severe your symptoms are. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Urgent care centers can address many common ailments. They can treat fevers, colds and flu; they can suture cuts, set and cast broken bones; and many offer x-rays and lab testing.
  • If it’s life or death, go to the ER. The ER is staffed by highly trained physicians and has access to advanced medical technology and supplies, which are critical for treating sever cases.


Urgent care centers offer cost savings. According to Concentra, patients can save an average of 80 percent on medical bills by visiting an urgent care center instead of the ER, when appropriate.


Humana is a Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO, and PFFS plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in a Humana plan depends on contract renewal. This information is not a complete description of benefits. Contact the plan for more information. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply. Benefits may change each year.


This information is available for free in other languages. Please call Customer Care at the number on the back of your Humana member ID card. 


Esta información está disponible gratuitamente en otros idiomas. Comuníquese con el Departamento de Atención al Cliente llamando al número en el dorso de su tarjeta de identificación de afiliado de Humana.