November 2, 2009 7:26 AM

ER visits amount to big health care bills for uninsured

Emergency rooms have become the U.S. health care system's safety net, where anyone can go for treatment and no one can be turned away because they can't pay in advance. But experts say using emergency care in place of checkups and doctor visits is the most expensive way to deal with chronic illness. The average emergency room bill is about $1,300; much more if the patient is admitted. A visit to a doctor's office starts around $75.

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