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We make every effort to keep our patient families up-to-date on important news regarding pediatric health and safety issues, as well as information on what is new at Advanced Pediatrics and in the community. We share important news with our patients on a regular basis through our Blog, E-News and Facebook. We encourage all patient families to sign up for our E-News and to “Like Us” on Facebook, so that they don’t miss out on important pediatric news from our offices!

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Have an Urgent Need? Get the Right Care at the Right Cost.

We know you need quick assistance for your children’s urgent needs. Finding the appropriate care is not only important for your child’s health, it may also save your family from unexpected and unnecessary medical expenses.

For LIFE THREATENING emergencies, always dial 911.

Call Us First 

For NON-LIFE-THREATENING situations, we recommend you call our Patient Care Line at 303-699-6200 first -- at any time of the day or night.  We may be able to save you an unnecessary trip to the emergency department or provide you with a needed referral for insurance coverage.  

During regular business hours, our nurses are available to provide home care advice and can schedule an "urgent" visit at one of our offices (when medically appropriate).  When our offices are closed, our after-hours service and on-call physician are available to make recommendations for the most appropriate care for your child’s urgent needs.

Urgent Care Versus Emergency Care – What’s the Difference?

Urgent Care $$

Urgent care centers are usually open after normal business hours, including evenings and weekends. In general, urgent care is meant to provide care for non-life-threatening illness or injuries when:  1) your doctor’s office is closed, and 2) care cannot wait until the next business day. Many urgent care facilities offer on-site diagnostic tests, and some have on-site x-ray equipment. 

In terms of cost, it is important to know your insurance benefits.  In general, a visit to an urgent care facility is less expensive than a trip to the emergency department.  This is not only because most insurance companies charge a lower co-payment for urgent care, but also because of higher costs associated with 24/7 emergency care. 

The providers at Advanced Pediatrics believe that children are best treated at “Pediatric” or “Children’s” urgent care facilities.  We recommend facilities which are staffed by Board-Certified Pediatricians and Pediatric Nurse Practitioners.  Many local urgent care centers say they treat pediatric patients, but are not staffed by board-certified pediatric health care providers.  Examples of local “pediatric” urgent care centers include Children’s Hospital Colorado South Campus and Uptown Denver locations.

Emergency Care $$$$

According to a 2013 Truven Health Analytics study, more than 70 percent of emergency department visits are for non-emergency conditions or conditions preventable through outpatient care.  Inappropriate use of emergency care is costlier and lacks the continuity of care provided by a primary care provider.

Emergency departments are the best place for treating severe and life-threatening illness and injuries.  Emergency departments are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and have a wider range of services for emergency care than urgent care facilities. In terms of cost, it is generally more expensive to go to the emergency department than to an urgent care facility or your primary care doctor’s office. 

Most emergency departments are located inside full-service hospitals. Hospital emergency departments offer the widest range of services for emergency care, including diagnostic tests, imaging, surgical care and access to specialists. Hospital emergency departments can receive patients via ambulance and admit them within the hospital if necessary.  When possible, we recommend children be seen at a “Pediatric” or “Children’s” hospital emergency room which is staffed with Board-Certified Pediatricians.

What is a “Stand-Alone” ER?” $$$$

A “stand-alone” ER is an emergency facility that is not attached to a full-service hospital.  Some stand-alone ERs are owned by hospital corporations and others are owned by groups of ER physicians.  Stand-alone ERs are often located near shopping centers, attracting patients with their convenient location.  While stand-alone ERs cannot provide access to the same range of services offered by a full-service hospital, they can bill patients at emergency room prices.
Patients often confuse “stand-alone” ERs with urgent care clinics – and are often shocked when they receive their bill for treatment.
 Stand-alone ER charges can cost thousands of dollars for a single visit, sometimes double or triple the amount of a primary care or urgent care visit.  (State regulations allow higher charges so that ER’s can recoup overhead costs, including 24-hour staffing, administration and equipment.)  Last October, the Denver Post ran a story about a local family charged $8,000 for two visits for their teenage twins who were seen for respiratory symptoms and pneumonia:

Free Standing ER - Denver Post

Additional Resources:

Emergency / Urgent Care

Emergency Symptoms Not to Miss

Urgent vs Emergency Care - Children's Hospital Colorado

Emergency Medical Treatment -- AAP Healthy Children

When to Call Emergency Medical Services -- AAP Healthy Children

Posted: 5/2/2016 2:44:20 PM by | with 0 comments
Filed under: Advice, Care, Cost, Emergencies, Urgent

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