Insights

How Much Do Stitches Cost At Urgent Care?

Mira Research Team25 Feb 2021

Quick Digest

  • Stitches are surgical threads used to repair cuts on the skin. Some stitches need to be removed by a provider while others are absorbed by the body.
  • According to our research on 10 urgent care facilities, the baseline cost for stitches ranged from $165 to $415.
  • Additional costs for stitches depend on several factors, including the severity of the wound, the location of the wound, and the need for a tetanus shot.
  • This article will help you understand when you should go to the ER vs urgent care for stitches and how much you should expect to pay.

How much do stitches cost at urgent care?

We called 10 of the top urgent care centers in the U.S. to find out how much they charge for stitches without insurance. 

Based on our research, we found that the price for stitches at urgent care can range from $165 to $415. 

Note that these prices are estimates and that the actual out-of-pocket cost will depend on any of the aforementioned factors. 

Price Breakdown for Stitches at Urgent Care Clinics

Urgent Care CenterCost for stitches*Other Notes
CityMD$200If insured, you will pay for whatever your insurance will not cover
ProHEALTH Urgent Care$115 office + $50-$70 for stitchesPrices will range
NextCare$190 for office visit + $100-200 for stitchesCo-pay + what insurance does not cover
FastMed$199Co-pay + what insurance does not cover
Patient First$125 to see doctor, $100 for stitch removal, $100 to get stitchesCo-pay + what insurance does not cover
CareNow$200 Base Charge + Additional Charges based on severity of wound (how many stitches, antibiotics, etc)Co-pay + what insurance does not cover
GoHealth$250 for visit + $215 for suturesCo-pay + what insurance does not cover
ConcentraNo answer 
MedExpressNo answer 
American Family CareNo answer 

*These are the baseline fees for stitches. Based on the severity of your wound, you can expect to pay more out of pocket. 

The cost of getting stitches at urgent care can vary and depends on several factors: 

  • Severity, size, and complexity of laceration
  • Location of laceration
  • Cost of local anesthesia to manage pain
  • Type of closure material used (glue, stitches, staples)
  • Removal of stitches (if  necessary)
  • Tetanus shot (Td vaccine may cost from $25-$60, Tdap may be more expensive)
  • Additional treatments or medications

What are stitches? 

Stitches, also known as sutures, are surgical threads that are used to repair cuts. In addition to stitches, some providers may use staples or glue to help close your wound. In general, there are two main types of stitches used to repair cuts on the skin: 

  1. Nonabsorbable sutures: these stitches are used to close skin wounds and then must be removed by a provider after about 7 days.
  2. Absorbable: sutures: these stitches are not removed and the body absorbs them within about 60 days. 

When you get stitches, it is important to give your provider some information about your cut so they can use the appropriate type of stitches. 

Some things that are important to disclose are how your cut happened, when your cut happened, your current medications, the date of your last tetanus injection, and any allergies. 

When should you get stitches? 

Below are some ways to help determine if you need stitches. Note - this list is not comprehensive and if you are unsure if you need stitches, you should call a healthcare provider. 

You should consider getting stitches if your wound

  • Is more than ¼ inch deep or more than ¾ inch long
  • Has jagged edges
  • Is located over a joint
  • Continues to bleed after 15 minutes of direct pressure
  • Is gaping open (meaning you cannot use gentile pressure to push it together)
  • Is the result of an animal or human bite
  • Appears to be contaminated or caused by a dirty object
  • Is on the face, hands, or genital area

Should you go to the emergency room or urgent care for stitches? 

Deciding whether to seek care at an ER or urgent care is a personal choice. However, it is important to seek medical attention quickly, as some cuts may not qualify for stitches if you wait more than 12 hours. 

In general, you should go to an ER if you have a serious laceration that needs immediate medical attention. Some of the signs that you may need to go to an ER include: 

  • Cuts spurting bright red blood
  • Cuts that continue to bleed profusely
  • Deep gaping wounds
  • Cuts that expose muscle, veins, or fat
  • Cuts that contain embedded objects
  • Deep facial cuts or severe animal bites

If your cut is more minor, going to urgent care may be a more convenient and cost-effective option. Below are some of the cuts that urgent care facilities are equipped to treat: 

  • Shallow facial cuts
  • Cuts with embedded dirt
  • Minor cuts that were caused by rusty/dirty objects
  • Straight cuts
  • Animal bites that are not too deep

How to avoid high costs when getting stitches at urgent care?

Seeking help from urgent care or a hospital can be expensive. We present several options that can help you reduce your costs —  especially if you do not have insurance or your insurance has high deductibles. 

With Mira, a $99 co-pay will cover your entire urgent care visit. 

It is important to advocate for yourself and understand the factors that affect the potential cost. Outlined below are several questions you can ask to help advocate for yourself.

  • How much will the stitches cost?
  • Is there a price difference for different types of stitches?
  • If I need a tetanus shot or antibiotics, how much will that cost?
  • Is there a price difference between the TD and the TDAP vaccines?
  • Is there an office visit fee?
  • Will I be charged to get non-absorbable stitches removed?
  • What other administrative fees can I expect?

Sources 

https://health.costhelper.com/stitches.html

https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/sutures

https://www.mottchildren.org/health-library/sid42906

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/does-your-cut-need-stitches-find-out-how-to-tell-2/

https://primeuc.com/blog/cuts-stitches-urgent-care-or-hospital/

Millennials are leaving health insurance carriers to join the new "CostCo" of healthcare.

"My insurance premiums went up 30% this year. My husband and I switched to Mira and never looked back," said Danna - Brooklyn, NYC