Can I go to the emergency room for a cat scan?

Like solely for a CAT scan. I would tell them that I've been having headaches for the past week along with other symptoms. I can't wait to see a primary doctor because I'm on a wait list as a new patient at the hospital. I also don't want to wait in case it is something life threatening.


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Most Helpful Guy

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Most Helpful Girl

  • Yes, but only if they feel it warrants for a CAT scan. Often times those kinds of test are booked and over booked. So unless its that serious, they may admit you in just to do the test when its free on the slot. Otherwise you will have no choice but to wait. Just know that doctors are on call for emergencies ONLY. Go to urgent care and set up an appointment. You should have just done so at least 3 days ago. It should not last anymore than a day or two. It sounds like a migraine or something not a normal headache. I get those a lot.

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What Guys Said 7

  • Emergency room is for "I'm going to die right now". If you go expect to pay $500-$1000 just to get in. Then more for tests.

    Urgent care is a better choice if you aren't going to die right now. You'll away with a bill of $150 - 250 instead of $1500 - $2500.

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  • Go to urgent care. It costs much less. If they feel your symptoms suggest a serious problem, they will get you set up with a CAT scan there or at a hospital.

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  • If you have several thousand dollars lying around that you don't need for anything eles, sure, go for it.

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    • 2mo

      Does insurance not cover an ER visit?

    • 2mo

      Well, I assume you are in the US. But emergency rooms are for emergencies - sudden illnesses, traumas, etc, in which, if the person does not get medical help immediately, they may die. An emergency room visit is at least a $1000 just to walk in, so insurance companies don't want their covered customers to go to the emergency room willy nilly. So, for something like a CAT scan, insurance is going to require you to get a referral from a doctor. So, your job is to see your doctor first so he or she can diagnose or seek more tests. If she or she feels you need a CAT scan, then they will prescribe one for you and you go to the CAT scan facility (which may not be a hospital), make an appointment (and give them your insurance info) and then later you get the CAT scan. That's how the medical system works.

    • 2mo

      What you can do is go to an "urgent care" facility. These aren't hospitals, but they are often 24-hour medical facilities that most anyone can go to. So, when you can't see your new doctor, go to urgent care first. If the doctor there thinks you need a CAT scan, she'll give you a prescription for one.

  • As others have said, you're probably better off going to Urgent Care, not the ER. Depending on your insurance company, an ER visit may not be covered unless you're admitted to the hospital.

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  • I doubt it did you hit your head? What other systems

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  • Usually need an appointment for that unless they feel it's an emergency

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What Girls Said 11

  • Yes you can. You'll even get the results then and there. It'd be costly that's all

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  • We are in the same boat with my husband. He's been having migraines daily to every other day for 2 months. His doctor gave him a pill he has to take everyday that hopefully will put space between them, but if it doesn't then he has to see a neurologist.

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  • Can you go to urgent care?

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  • The ER is not a general practitioner. Stop using it as one. And it will be far more expensive anyway, at least for most people.

    The ER will test you for emergent medical conditions and will only try you for emergent medical conditions. Again, only emergent medical conditions.

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    • 2mo

      *treat you

    • Show All
    • 2mo

      That's what I said from the beginning. You don't just go to a primary doctor for something like this. You go to the ER, it's using the resources that are given to me. Insurance pays for emergency room visits at least mines does all there is, is a copay.

    • 2mo

      Actually your GP would either send you to a specialist or another department of the hospital if their office is in one, most likely. Again, the ER only looks for emergent medical conditions. So they'll likely just rule out the big ones, and if it isn't anything serious you still won't know the cause. They'll then refer you to a specialist.

  • You can't tell them to order anything. (They do what they want). And they won't simply because you claim a headache. If you tell them you hit your head and blacked out and vomitted they will 100% order you a cat scan stat. Don't tell them some chick on the internet told you this either.

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    • 2mo

      Who said anything about telling them to order anything? I can tell them to, just doesn't mean the necessarily will

    • 2mo

      If you think a doctor will order anything because you tell them you don't know a lot of er docs... I simply gave you a method that would work. But hey. You do what you want

    • 2mo

      I called, anyways and was told that a lot of people were getting sinus infections. She said it might be that, I only had one of the symptoms of a sinus infection though. The symptoms are slowly going away though

  • And reasons like that is why some people who need urgent care die.

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  • Probably not

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  • If they have a radiology dept, ya. Why don't you just go to an urgent care.

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    • 2mo

      Urgent care in my state/city is for things like broken bones not serious things like what I want

    • 2mo

      Urgent care anywhere is for people who need to see a doctor right away, not wait for normal office hours and an appointment. You will be seen by a doctor, and if he/she determines that you have something beyond their capabilities at Urgent Care, they will send you to the ER. But if you start with the ER and it is determined that what you went for is not an Emergency, many insurance companies hit you with a big fee for using the ER when a doctor visit (including Urgent Care) would have taken care of the situation. By big fee I am talking hundreds of dollars.

  • Don't think so. Especially as it's headaches they'll just say to see your doctor

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    • 2mo

      But it's not just headaches. It's been for about a week and there are symptoms for things like a brain tumor, meningitis, etc. It's recommended that if there are symptoms like mines that people go to the emergency room

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    • 2mo

      @FallOutBoy2001 I guess I would go dumb ass. I do have a mind of my own. I'm not asking some bitch to tell me if I should go or not. I asked if an emergency rooms will take people (me) for just a CAT scan

    • 2mo

      And he answer is, unless it's an emergency, don't go to the emergency room

  • You could go but you should know that the doctors and nurses won't be thrilled because this isn't an urgent matter that needs to be taken care of immediately. This ia something for your doctor's office and he'll give you a referral. They won't give you a CAT scan of they don't think it's necessary or needs to be done immediately.
    ERs are for when you can't function properly if you don't get immediate help not for going there talking about your chronic constipation on a Saturday at 2:45 am.

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    • 2mo

      Well I could have a brain tumor, or meningitis so it's nothing compared to something simple as constipation which is why I said I've headaches and other symptoms for about a week. It's not just something that should be ignored

    • 2mo

      If you had meningitis it would be full blown case by now and you couldn't sit up right and explain this. A tumor on the other hand isn't an emergency...

  • Probably

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