Patients in a waiting room In retail clinics and urgent care centers in 2016, acute respiratory infections, such as the common cold, were the number one diagnostic category. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Use of alternative health care facilities is increasing dramatically for those who have private health insurance – for services rendered in urgent care centers, a 1,725 percent spike in private insurance claims from 2007 to 2016, more than seven times that of emergency room claims, according to the FAIR Health white paper, "FH Healthcare Indicators and FH Medical Price Index: A New View of Place of Service Trends and Medical Pricing."

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Katie Kuehner-Hebert

Katie Kuehner-Hebert is a freelance writer based in Running Springs, Calif. She has more than three decades of journalism experience, with particular expertise in employee benefits and other human resource topics.