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My daughter went to urgent care, but they took one look at her and told me I had to bring her to the ER downtown instead. So, we did that, and thankfully she is now okay. In addition to the big bill for the ER and care, I also got a small bill for the urgent care where they "saw her" but did nothing.

I called and asked if they would waive the urgent care clinic fee, and they said they could not, as she was seen.

  • Should I have to pay this?
  • Is there anything I can do to get this waived?

I'm getting killed by many other medical bills here, so I want to do all I can to reduce them.

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    I pricked my finger on a nail and needed a tetanus shot. It was Christmas morning, and I went through the local ER. Nurse gave me the shot, and told me to wait for "the doctor." I bolted for the door, but walked right into the doctor. Shot $10, Nurse $50, Doctor $100, when all he did was block the door. The bandaid was already on my finger. – JTP - Apologise to Monica Mar 28 '15 at 0:41
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The service they provided is Triage, which is also what you did.

The medical staff at any Hospital/ER/Urgent Care have to decide who gets seen first and what level of care is appropriate for that patient based on the medical situation. In general if the medical care is either beyond the beyond the scope of the Urgent Care, or it is likely to result in an overnight stay they will either send you to a hospital or call an ambulance for you.

The Urgent Care has to bill because some portion of their resources (people and equipment) were focus on evaluating your daughter. In some cases the diagnoses takes seconds, in other cases they may perform a test or two before being able to determine.

I would approach the insurance company. Under the rule of some policies fees for urgent care and ERs are waived or reduced if the situation results in hospital stay, or surgery, or some other elevated care level.

If ultimately the insurance company won't budge, make sure that they do count this bill when determining your deductible and out-of-pocket amount for the year.

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  • Makes sense, but this wouldn't fly in nearly any other industry: Imagine I bring my car in to get repaired. They say that there's a $80 diagnostic fee, but it is credited toward the repair if I do the repair there. The next day, they call me and tell me it is beyond their ability to fix, and I need to go to the specialty shop down the road--they wouldn't insist I pay a diagnostic fee. – Patrick Szalapski Mar 30 '15 at 18:21
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    In fact they would charge you the diagnostic fee. If you call a repairman for your Air Conditioner, they charge a fee just to look at it – mhoran_psprep Mar 30 '15 at 19:01
  • I don't think so...but oh well. – Patrick Szalapski Mar 30 '15 at 21:56
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You got a service from the urgent care facility--the evaluation that the problem was beyond their ability to deal with and needed an actual hospital. Just because your daughter was not helped by this judgment does not mean medical work wasn't performed.

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