On Your Side Investigation Update: Urgent care prices

Published: Jan. 20, 2020 at 6:35 PM CST
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Our investigation a few months ago revealed not all CoxHealth urgent cares charge the same fees.

Remember this? His urgent care bill looked more like a mortgage payment.


Fred Grimm took his kids to a CoxHealth's urgent care clinic. Two strep throat tests costs more than $1,100. That's after insurance. Grimm went to the urgent care inside the Turner Center that's connected to Cox South hospital. We did some checking and discovered if he would have gone to Branson or Lebanon he would have saved hundreds of dollars.

Why? The Turner Center has what's called hospital-based billing. Regardless if you use hospital services while you're there, you might be charged that fee like Grimm.

CoxHealth has a sign on display, saying you'll get two bills. It does not say you might be paying more. Grimm says he didn't see the sign. A few weeks after our investigation aired, Grimm got this in the mail from CoxHealth. An anonymous donor took care of the debt.

"If you got anonymous donors, hopefully they're putting some of those funds toward a marketing campaign so that everybody understands what they are getting into when they go to an urgent care. I think it's appalling. The only people that know it costs more to go to one location than another because they may have an MRI machine are the people that watch KY3. The people that watched your piece on it. Those are the only people that know not to go there," said Grimm.

On Your Side reached out to CoxHealth. A spokesperson emailed this statement.

"It's wonderful to live in a community with so many caring people. We would like to take this opportunity to remind that we have several levels care in Springfield for when patients need to be seen quickly. Each level has different pricing based upon the intensity of available services. For example, we currently have telemedicine visits for flu for a flat fee of $30, we have retail clinics with predetermined affordable pricing, several walk-in primary care clinics and a new urgent care on west Sunshine Street with no facility fee. We also have urgent care in The Turner Center for higher needs, which is hospital-based. It provides 24-hour urgent care and access to a fuller range of services, including dedicated pediatric urgent care."

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