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

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Photo: The University of Arizona Health Sciences

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 ...