If you’ve ever been to an emergency room with a gashed forehead or a twisted ankle, you probably can’t decide which pain is worse—the injuries you sustained or the one your bank account will receive when the medical bills arrive. As this article from The New York Times reports, even routine treatments can have exorbitant charges in American ERs:

At Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, Daniel Diaz, 29, a public relations executive, was billed $3,355.96 for five stitches on his finger after cutting himself while peeling an avocado. At a hospital in Jacksonville, Fla., Arch Roberts Jr., 56, a former government employee, was charged more than $2,000 for three stitches after being bitten by a dog. At Mercy Hospital in Port Huron, Mich., Chelsea Manning, 22, a student, received bills for close to $3,000 for six stitches after she tripped running up a path.

The piece adds that the private health care system sees little to no regulation, allowing hospitals to charge sky-high bills for their services. For health reasons, though, delaying treatment is not recommended as it will only lead to further complications; many people do this because they can’t afford medical costs. Fortunately, people can visit Federal Way urgent care centers instead, like those run by the U.S. HealthWorks Medical Group.

Federal Way Urgent Care Clinics: A Cure for Patients’ Aching Wallets

Urgent care in Federal Way allows cash-strapped patients to be treated for non-life-threatening ailments like minor cuts, bruises, sprains, and broken bones for a fraction of what an ER visit would cost. When you go to these centers, you also avoid the long queue of patients commonly seen in hospitals. Lastly, they are open during off hours and weekends, so you don’t have to schedule an appointment just to be seen by a health professional.

(Article Information and Image from As Hospital Prices Soar, a Stitch Tops $500, The New York Times, December 2, 2013)

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