With stripmall ERs, convenience has a price. They are run by medical entrepreneurs and are popping up in strip malls across the country. They can make a lot of money because they charge ER prices.
A visit that might have cost $200 at an urgent-care center can cost four or five times as much at an ER. Many patients who mistake them for urgent-care centers get sticker shock when the bill comes, according to a story on NPR.org.
"They are usually set up in places where there are high-income patients who are well-insured and who want to see someone quickly," says Vivian Ho, a health economist at Rice University in Houston, Tex. They're not being built in poor neighborhoods, rural communities or areas with lots of uninsured people.
Read the article or listen to the story.