What Is the Difference Between a Freestanding ER and Urgent Care Center?

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Emergency rooms and urgent care centers have come a long way from ER’s of the past that have been portrayed on TV and in the movies. People who visit these facilities today are not faced with long waiting rooms, unruly patients, and overworked staff. These facilities are modern with state-of-the-art equipment and staff that are ready to handle all of your needs.

A freestanding emergency room (ER) and an urgent care center may not seem that different at first. But upon closer inspection, there are many differences between the two. You must know what they are to make the right decision when it comes to your health.

What is an urgent care center?

An urgent care center is a medical facility that is designed to accept patients that have non–life-threatening medical conditions that need to be treated quickly. The concept of urgent care centers began in the early 1980s after the introduction of the HMO medical plan in the United States.

The HMO plan forced healthcare providers to cut costs and they began to close their emergency rooms and replace them with urgent care facilities. The idea was to treat patients with common illnesses and injuries in a less expensive, and less time-consuming, environment. If you want to learn more about these centers near you, you can check urgent care located here, which will give you a list of urgent care centers in your area. You can also find what are the benefits of visiting an urgent care center on their website.

What is a freestanding ER?

A freestanding emergency room (ER) is a hospital-based department that provides emergency care to patients with urgent care needs but is not located in a hospital. The freestanding ER is a patient-centered department that can provide services for those with urgent care needs, but who would otherwise have to travel to a hospital emergency room.

These services include lab tests, x-rays, and treatment for common illnesses and injuries like a twisted ankle or a minor burn. A freestanding ER can help patients who need care fast but need a facility that isn’t quite as large as a hospital emergency room.

How to choose between a freestanding ER and an urgent care center?

A freestanding emergency room (ER) is an independently owned urgent care facility that provides the same medical services as a hospital emergency room. On the other hand, a medical center or urgent care center is a place where non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses can be treated but must be supplemented with a hospital.

Many freestanding ERs are located in strip malls, so patients can easily walk to the facility from the parking lot. Also, urgent bills can invoice quickly and the medical billing specialist takes 3 weeks to 12 weeks to process the medical bills to the patient.

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Difference between ER and urgent care centers

A freestanding ER is a medical facility that is not part of a hospital. It tends to provide emergency care but is also equipped to handle any medical issue that doesn’t require a hospital stay. Urgent care centers are similar to freestanding ERs, but they are often associated with a specific hospital. They typically provide the same services that an urgent care center does, as well as additional services such as imaging, lab tests, and procedures.

The cost implications of each

A freestanding emergency room (commonly referred to as free-standing ER) is not connected to a hospital. Freestanding ERs are usually found in retail centers, so they are also referred to as retail ERs. Urgent care centers and retail ERs offer the same services but urgent care centers are usually attached to a hospital or healthcare system, so they tend to be much more convenient to get to. Retail ERs are a great option if you are looking for a lower-cost option or if you are looking for walk-in care.

Convenience and ER wait times

The primary difference between a freestanding ER (also called a freestanding emergency room) and an urgent care center is the level of healthcare that you can receive at each. When you arrive at a freestanding ER, you will be seen by a doctor and treated for a variety of urgent care services. This will include things like x-rays, stitches, treatments for fractures, and more.

The services are provided by both ER and urgent care

An emergency room (ER) is a place where patients go when they have an emergency medical condition. The emergency services in most hospitals are run by the ER. An emergency room is always open. The doctors, nurses, and technicians in the ER run from patient to patient. They have the life-saving equipment and diagnostic tools to help the patient. If a person is having a heart attack, for example, the ER is the place where he will go. ER doctors specialize in caring for people who need emergency care.


There are many urgent care centers and freestanding ERs that have opened across the country. This has created some confusion in the minds of people trying to decide which facility they should turn to in their time of need. We hope this blog has helped you understand the difference between the two options and given you more information to help you decide which one is right for you.