Difference Between PCP, Urgent Care and ER

  Primary Care Physician Urgent Care Center Emergency Room
What? A primary care physician is a physician who provides both the first contact for a person with an undiagnosed health concern as well as continuing care of varied medical conditions Urgent care is a category of walk-in clinic focused on the delivery of ambulatory care in a dedicated medical facility outside of a traditional emergency room. Emergency Room is a medical treatment facility specializing in acute care of patients who present without prior appointment, either by their own means or by ambulance.
Who visits? Recurring patient bank Mostly new, but also recurring patients Both new and recurring patients
Appointment? Appointment based Appointment or Walk-in Based Severity based
Priority? Appointment based First come first served Severity based
Functional hours? Fixed Fixed and/or extended hours 24 hours
Functional days? Limited Limited 7 days a week
Care type? General or Specialty care Short term medical care Complex medical conditions
Equipment? Minimal Limited Extensive
Insurance coverage? Option to accept or deny certain insurances Option to accept or deny certain insurances Must see and treat patient, insured or not
Bound to Emergency Medical Treatment Act? Not bound Not bound Bound
Upfront payment? May be required May be required May not be demanded
Staff? General Practitioner or Specialist May be staffed by physicians, not necessarily by emergency physicians, or physicians that are not board certified emergency physicians Must be staffed by staff and physicians board certified as emergency physicians or specialty care staff
Staff includes? General Practitioner or Specialist General Practitioner, Specialist, and/or Nurse Practitioners Board Certified physicians in Emergency Medicine, Surgeons, Cardiologists
Lab? Not required Optional Required
Revenue generated? Minimal investment, minimal revenue An additional global charge is added to the visit charges when billed to the payer. High, due to the specialized staff and equipment.
Amount collected per patient?* $60.00 to $95.00 $125.00 to $200.00 $1,500.00 to $15,000.00

PCP, Urgent Care Center, and Emergency Room


*Reimbursement may vary upon the payer type

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles

Leave A Comment?