Ateev Mehrotra, MD, MPH

Urgent Care Centers: Lower-Cost Than Emergency Departments, but They Increase Spending

Apr. 26, 2021

The rapid expansion of Urgent Care Centers (UCC) over the past decade has raised the tantalizing possibility that UCCs could be a cost-effective alternative for visits that do not need the full capabilities of an emergency department (ED). On the surface, this seems to make sense. In our new study in Health Affairs, the average UCC visit cost only $171 compared to the staggering $1,646 for an ED visit.