In general, the care you receive when you have a medical procedure falls into two categories: inpatient and outpatient. The difference depends on how long you must stay at the health care facility. There’s also a difference when it comes to cost: Outpatient care almost always costs less than inpatient care.
Types of health care facilities
Hospitals provide both inpatient and outpatient care. They have a variety of support departments and resources and are well-equipped to manage emergencies. For example, if complications arise during your procedure at a hospital, you’ll be near an ER and an intensive care unit. Because of this, hospitals are often the best choice for complex or high-risk surgeries.
Surgery centers are run by doctors or large health care companies and offer outpatient services. The fee for procedures at surgery centers is often less than the fee at hospitals. If you’re scheduling a low-risk procedure, you may want to consider going to a surgery center. Your doctor can still refer you to a hospital for treatment if complications arise during or after your procedure.
While many people give birth at a hospital, birthing centers are also an option. They range from hospital-affiliated centers to independent ones with no physician on site. The services available and treatment approach vary, too. Be aware that only certified nurse midwives are covered by your plan and remember to check if your midwife’s birthing center is in-network.