Fear of COVID-19 and confusion over the capabilities of urgent care centers are still combining to lead some patients to make poor decisions over where they seek care, and just what level of care they really need. Evidence of this is clear in a report aired recently by KRGV television in the Rio Grande Valley region of Texas. A woman there woke up one morning achy and having a hard time breathing. She felt more miserable as the day wore on—and more convinced that she was seriously ill with COVID-19. She rushed to the closest emergency room and “signed anything” they put in front of her without bothering to read any of the forms. After a COVID-19 test (and several other procedures) she was sent home. Her test was negative and she felt better in short order—until she got a statement from her insurance company revealing that the trip to the ED resulted in a bill of more than $12,500. View this is as a reminder that there’s still work to be done to help patients understand the many services urgent care can provide, and that failure to choose the right setting could leave them hurting longer than the symptoms that drove them to the ED in the first place.
Desperation and Fear Over COVID-19 Are Driving Patients to Make Costly Mistakes