Understanding the Hybrid ER & Urgent Care Model: How It Works

Until recently, patients had two options when experiencing a serious medical issue: sit in an emergency room and wait for an expensive medical procedure, or visit an urgent care clinic. While this may sound simple in theory, patients aren't always sure whether their injury or illness is truly an emergency or merely urgent. Even worse, people must make this decision on the fly and under stress.

The hybrid emergency room and urgent care model solves this dilemma entirely by combining these two popular forms of treatment. Here’s how it works: Depending on the severity of the injury and the type of care required, patients will receive emergency room services or urgent care treatment accordingly. Just as importantly, and this is what makes the hybrid model so unique, the patient will also be billed accordingly.

Normally, 100% of patients visiting a freestanding ER will be billed at ER rates, even if they’re given ibuprofen and told to go home to rest. However, at Legacy ER & Urgent Care, 80% of our patients are billed at urgent care rates. Recently, hybrids ER and urgent care clinics have become known as two-door facilities.

While choice is important in healthcare, patients don’t always know what type of care they need. That’s why they visit doctors in the first place. With a lack of options available to them, many people simply choose the emergency room as a point of convenience. As of right now, 71% of ER visits by patients with employer-sponsored health care are preventable with proper outpatient treatment instead.

Why are hybrid emergency rooms and urgent care clinics so important? Keep reading to find out how the entire emergency room model has changed in recent years...
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