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Freestanding Emergency Departments May Increase Out-of-Pocket Spending for Patients

EurekAlert! Science News Releases

Photo: The University of Arizona Health Sciences

Eurekalert.org

With emergency department visits spiking around the holidays, patients may be inclined to seek care at freestanding emergency departments in an urgent situation.

However, a new study suggests the best and most cost-effective option may be to skip the freestanding emergency department and head to an urgent care center.

A collaborative study led by researchers at the University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix and Rice University found that freestanding emergency departments can increase out-of-pocket spending, health-care utilization, and price per visit. Freestanding emergency departments deliver emergency care similar to a ...