Emergency Room or Urgent Care?

How to choose the care you need when your doctor isn’t available

How do you choose the care you need when your doctor isn’t available?

When you want quick, non-emergency care and your regular doctor isn’t available, you may want to choose a network Urgent Care or Convenience Care Clinic. You won’t have to wait for hours in a crowded room and it costs less – up to three times less for the same services you would get in an emergency room. Here are some of the differences to help you know how to choose.

Urgent CareEmergency Room
Choose Urgent Care if you just don’t feel well and are suffering from:
  • Cold/Flu/Fever/Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Ear ache
  • Sprains/Strains/Simple Fractures
  • Scrapes/Cuts
  • Minor burns
  • Rashes without fever, like poison ivy/insect bites
  • Nausea
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Back pain
Choose the ER if your symptoms are severe,
life threatening or come on suddenly, from conditions such as:
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fainting/Loss of consciousness/Change in vision
  • Change in mental state
  • Weakness on one side/Facial droop/Garbled speech
  • Deep cuts/Bleeding that won’t stop
  • Sudden, severe pain anywhere in the body
  • High fever/Fever with rash
  • Seizures
  • Sever or repeated vomiting
  • Serious burns

The Choice is Yours
Based on these guidelines, choose the most appropriate setting for your care. To locate a network urgent care center, UHC members can go to myuhc.com and search for “Urgent Care/Convenience Care Clinic.” Or, call the member service number on the back of your UnitedHealthcare ID card.