Free-standing E.R.s Need More Cost Transparency

Free-standing emergency rooms (ERs) can offer greater convenience and shorter wait times than those situated within hospitals. However, they are also easily confused with urgent care clinics, which primarily treat minor injuries and ailments not serious enough to warrant emergency services. A study by Vivian Ho, director of the Center for Health and Biosciences, found that patients with the same diagnosis can incur bills up to 10 times higher at a free-standing ER than at an urgent care facility. “There needs to be more transparency in terms of the cost," Ho said in an interview with the Washington Post.

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