After Hours Care

Did you know that 82%* of Emergency Department visits can be treated quickly and effectively at Urgent Care Centers?

If your patients suffer from a condition that is not life threatening but requires prompt medical attention, encourage them to seek out urgent or convenience care over Emergency Rooms (ERs), when medically appropriate. The following table shows a comparison of costs for some conditions commonly treated in each setting.

Description Emergency Room Urgent Care Centers Convenience Care Center Potential Savings
Acute Bronchitis $1,232 $151 $103 88%-92%
Acute Cystitis $1,439 $112 $92 92%-94%
Acute Pharyngitis $810 $128 $83 84%-90%
Acute Sinusitis $778 $125 $74 84%-91%
Acute Upper Respiratory Infections $810 $132 $79 84%-90%
Conjunctivitis $498 $96 $72 81%-85%
Cough $913 $142 $81 84%-91%
Otitis Media (Middle Ear Infection) $655 $109 $74 83%-89%
Streptococcal Sore Throat $882 $125 $85 86%-90%
Urinary Tract Infection $1,670 $161 $83 90%-95%
This information represents a sample of conditions commonly treated in all three settings and includes all patients with these diagnoses, but does not take into account the severity of their illness. Costs are based on average CareFirst member’s costs in 2016 and may not represent your patient’s actual cost of care for the same services.

Use the information above to educate your patients on the cost difference between receiving treatment in an ER, urgent care or convenience care setting. Additional information to help your patients manage care costs is available on our Member site.


CareFirst PCMH Primary Care Providers (PCPs):

We heard you.

Urgent and convenience care centers will be required to:

  • Refer patients back to you for follow-up.
  • Not market themselves as PCPs to your CareFirst patients.

CareFirst members are encouraged to contact PCPs as the first point of contact. Fill out this PCP Contact Sheet and give it to your patients.

Member education efforts are ongoing through member newsletters, websites and other materials.

For a complete listing of Urgent Care Centers, visit and select health plan. Then select Immediate Care under the Facilities section. Medical emergencies require a visit to the emergency room. If your situation is a medical emergency, call 911 or go directly to the nearest emergency care facility.

Your patients can also use the CareFirst Mobile App to find the nearest Urgent Care Center. Encourage your patients to download the app at

* Based on Emergency Room/Urgent Care Center and Physician Office Setting Reimbursement Analysis for claims paid during the calendar year 2016 for select procedures.