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The national mainstream media are starting to take up the debate over when patients really need to go to the emergency room vs other settings like urgent care. US News & World Report just published a story by Elaine Cox, MD, that draws a parallel between the Twitter age, where people have gotten used to expressing themselves in 140 characters and feel they need immediate care for whatever ails them, and data showing that ED visits are roughly four times as expensive as visits to other outpatient setting for the same presenting complaints. She goes on to quote data from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention, familiar to the urgent care community, showing that visits to the ED increased by 20 percent in the first decade since the turn of the millennium, with only 12 percent of those visits results in an admission. Cox also notes that “urgent care centers have become a staple across the country. While not open 24/7 like the ER, evening and weekend hours make them an attractive option.”

Urgent Care Gets a Boost from US News & World Report