Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Tacoma ER Alternatives

This article is primarily geared internally to my family in order to have a public repository of urgent care information. This situation came up when a month ago we innocently took Greyson to the ER to get stiches for his head. Earlier he had belly flopped off the toilet and onto the corner shower tile. We responsibly called our pediatrician first and explained, “Greyson is bleeding pretty bad, yo! My gut tells me this needs stiches.” Our pediatrician, for better or worse, responded with the perfunctory “go straight to the ER, do not pass go, I am a mindless robot” line that is so frustratingly contributing to the problem of bloated high-cost US healthcare. Had the pediatrician responded with just an ounce more curiosity, wisdom or social consciousness, he/she may have offered other options. “Is the cut a superficial cut or is it life threatening? Oh it’s superficial? Oh then you should come on in. Or go to urgent care. Or go to the local free clinic. Or go to the fire station. Or go to Home Depot and buy superglue. Turn it into a fun human body DIY project for the whole family! Just don’t go to the ER.”

But in following the doctor’s perfunctory hackneyed prognosis, we unwittingly gave away over $1000.00. That is the difference in cost between an urgent care or clinic, versus the $1500 owed to the for-profit local Children’s hospital.

So for the sake of keeping a good internet-accessible record that is available via any smart phone on the way to a local Tacoma urgent care facility, below are the good local cheap Premera In-Network options for virtually any non-life threatening emergency. All of these (possible exception of MultiCare Express) can handle stitches, sprains, nasty wheezing, high fevers, burns,pretty much anything that doesn't require a jackhammer, scalpal or life support, etc:

MultiCare Gig Harbor Urgent Care Center
4545 Pt. Fosdick Dr N.W.
Monday through Friday 8am to 8pm
Saturday, Sunday 8am - 4pm
Holidays 8am to 5pm

Mary Bridge Pediatric Urgent Care - Gig Harbor
4545 Pt. Fosdick Dr N.W. Suite 145
Monday through Friday 2pm to 8pm
Saturday, Sunday and Holidays* 10am to 4pm

MultiCare West Tacoma (formerly Westgate) Urgent Care Center
2209 North Pearl Street, Suite 100
Monday through Friday 9am to 9pm
Saturday, Sunday, Holidays* 9am to 5pm

MultiCare University Place Urgent Care Center
4210 Bridgeport Way W.
Monday through Friday 9am to 9pm
Saturday, Sunday, Holidays* 9am to 5pm

US Health Works Medical Group
2624 South 38th St, Tacoma, WA 98409
Monday – Friday 7:00am - 7:00pm
Saturday 9:00am - 5:00pm

MultiCare Express (In Rite Aid)
7041 Pacific Ave (East side), Tacoma, WA
Monday - Friday 9am to 8pm
Saturday and Sunday 10am to 6pm

Mary Bridge Pediatric Urgent Care - Olympia
3504 12th Avenue NE
Olympia, WA 98506
Thursday & Friday: 5pm – 9pm
Saturday & Sunday: 12pm – 8pm

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