Insurance claims for urgent care visits grew by 1,725% between 2007 and 2016—more than seven times the growth rate of claims for emergency room visits, according to new data from FAIR Health. The FH Medical Price Index and FH Healthcare Indicators reports also reveal that the median price for an urgent care visit is lower than the cost of new-patient visits to office-based physicians ($242 vs $294, respectively). Fair Health based its data on over 25 billion privately billed healthcare claims. Its reports reflect a broadening of choices for patients, with more visits to urgent care centers, retail clinics, telehealth, and ambulatory surgery centers. Different sites tended to be associated with different presenting complaints and diagnoses; for example, acute respiratory infections were more prevalent in urgent care centers and retail settings, while mental health issues were most common in the telehealth setting.
Urgent Care Claims Up 1,725% Between 2007 and 2016 (and No, That’s Not a Typo)