Life moves quickly and you never know what is going to happen next. It can be a wonderful thing and sometimes it can be downright scary.
To be prepared for accidents and injuries, you should do some research about your surrounding area, especially if you have recently moved or are planning on doing so soon. It is important to know where and when you can obtain the everyday services you need in life.
When searching for your next go-to spot, proximity, and convenience are often at the top of the list of deciding factors. However, when you are trying to lock down your medical providers and emergency care, you should consider doing more than a simple “emergency room near me” search online.
Go-To Emergency Room: 3 Factors To Consider
Consider these factors when selecting your emergency room and find the best possible location to suit your needs.
Short Wait Times
Short wait times are at the top of the list when it comes to choosing an emergency room. It stands to reason that if you are having a life-threatening emergency, you need immediate attention, otherwise you could book an appointment with your primary care physician (PCP) or you could visit an urgent care center.
Emergency rooms can perform the same tasks as your PCP or urgent care, but it does not work the same way in reverse.
The faster the emergency room staff can get your patient information into the system and get you back into a room, the better.
Take the time to do the research, the emergency room 5 minutes up the road might have a wait time of 30 minutes; the one down the block, a few more minutes out, might only have a wait time of 7 minutes.
When time is of the essence, you do not want to be staring at the lobby wallpaper and counting tiles while the doctors try to find space for you in the back.
When you are searching for an “emergency room near me”, make sure to find a facility that offers on-site imaging. When you are not sure what the cause of your pain is or when you have received a critical injury from an accident, there are a wide variety of tests that can be performed to help doctors figure out what the issue is.
Although urgent care may be equipped to administer an x-ray on site, that doesn’t help your situation when you need a CT scan if there isn’t a device available.
Be prepared for true emergencies. When you or a loved one are in life-threatening danger, panic can quickly set in, causing you to lose focus or forget small, important details. Avoid minor mistakes by having a clear idea of what to do and where to go depending on the severity of the injury or accident.
Make sure that the emergency room that you go to is fully equipped to diagnose and treat unknown problems by having the ability to perform all manners of testing and imaging if needed.
Whether you have medical insurance or not, when choosing a facility that may save your life, it is recommended that you take a minute to look at the emergency room accepted insurance policies when researching “emergency room near me”. It can definitely save you some money down the road if you prepare ahead of time.
Emergency rooms are required to provide life-saving care, whether you have top insurance, Medicaid/Tricare, or if you have no insurance at all.
- Even with premium insurance, if the emergency room you go to is considered “out of network”, your insurance company may not cover the bulk of your costs due to the agreement you signed with them. Avoid additional costs by choosing an emergency room that is inside your insurance company’s network.
- If you are provided with: Medicare/Medicaid/Tricare from the government, keep in mind that you need to find an emergency room that is also attached to a hospital. Stand-alone emergency rooms do not accept these insurances. They will still treat you at a stand-alone facility but expect a higher cost than going to an emergency room, attached to a hospital, that takes your insurance.
- Without insurance, do not make the mistake of going without necessary, life-saving care. The emergency room can not look at a patient, who has an immediate injury or life-threatening condition, and turn them away for fear of not being reimbursed for the services they may need to provide. You may have to pay a smaller immediate fee upon leaving, but they will send the remainder of the bill to you to deal with as you can.
Keep in mind that it is essential to review insurance and billing policies with the emergency room before you ever get admitted so you have an idea of what to expect. They will help you with the necessary care and stabilize your health but depending on their policy, you might receive a lengthy bill, or several, in the mail if you are not careful.
Take Preventative Action
Nobody wants to have to go to the emergency room, but everybody needs to have a quality option available to them as a precaution.
As we all know, doctor’s offices are not typically open 24 hours per day and urgent care facilities are not equipped with the same style of life-saving care as an emergency room. Everyone should have a preferred emergency room in addition to their regular doctor’s office or urgent care.
Whether you choose an emergency room that is attached to or affiliated with a hospital, or you choose an independent, stand-alone emergency room, they should be ready to take on your emergency quickly and professionally.
When you search for “emergency room near me” make sure to read the reviews after you are done checking the available services and general information about their facility.