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Compare ERs and…
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Compare ERs and Urgent Cares

October 13, 2016
ER vs Urgent Orthopedic Care.

Direct Orthopedic Care (DOC) is an urgent access orthopedic facility that provides patients with immediate care by licensed, board-certified, orthopedic healthcare specialists and modern diagnostic services. This is very different from the traditional system utilizing a hospital-based or freestanding ER. In addition to the high expense and long wait times in the ER, patients are not seen by orthopedic specialists and need to be referred out for definitive treatment. The result is a waste of time, increased cost, and delayed treatment. Emergency rooms and freestanding ERs (FSER) have the same price structure. In most hospital-based or freestanding ERs, patients are charged emergency-level facility and professional fees based on what is reimbursable by insurance companies. The fee ranges from a few hundred dollars to more than $10,000 per visit. DOC does not charge a facility fee so the cost to patients is the same as an in-network, outpatient doctor’s visit. Research from HospitalState.org shows the cost for an orthopedic procedure in an emergency room, including X-ray, splint and facility fee, averages $1,498. At DOC, the same procedure, tests, and treatment averages only $196 to $258 . . . a savings of approximately 80%. Patients have direct access to orthopedic specialist care at DOC without needing a referral. This results in much faster treatment and recovery compared to waiting days or weeks to be referred to the specialist. So both DOC and the traditional ER/FSER system are open 7 days/week. That is where the similarities end. DOC has orthopedic specialist care. The ER does not. DOC charges for a traditional, outpatient office visit and the ER charges facility fees that are sometimes thousands of dollars. DOC treatment times are usually less than an hour for specialist care and the ER wait times may be hours at the facility followed by days or weeks to actually see the orthopedic specialist. For orthopedic care, the choice is simple. Come to the DOC location closest to you.

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