About the Urgent Care Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering

This information describes when to go to Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK)’s Urgent Care Center. It also describes what will happen while you’re there and after you’re discharged.

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What is the Urgent Care Center?

The Urgent Care Center (UCC) is a special treatment center for MSK patients. The UCC is meant for urgent medical issues and services related to cancer or cancer treatments. Many tests and treatments, such as intravenous (IV) medications (medications put into your vein) and blood transfusions, can be done in the UCC.

The UCC is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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Why would I need to go to the UCC?

You should go to the UCC if you have an urgent medical problem that can’t wait until your healthcare provider can see you. Examples of urgent medical problems include:

  • A fever above 100.4 °F (38 °C) or as directed by your healthcare provider.
  • Bleeding that won’t stop.
  • Flu-like symptoms (such as a cough, fever, or chills).
  • Any other urgent medical problems.

If you’re having an urgent medical problem, call your MSK oncologist (cancer doctor) before going to the UCC. They may be able to help you over the phone.

  • Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, call your oncologist’s office.
  • After 5:00 pm, during the weekend, and on holidays, call 212-639-2000. Ask to speak with the doctor on call for your oncologist.

If your oncologist decides you need to go to the UCC, they’ll tell the UCC staff to expect you.

If your oncologist decides you need to be admitted to the hospital, you still need to come to the UCC first. The UCC staff will help you while you wait for your inpatient room to be ready.

If you have a life-threatening emergency, always call 911 or go to the closest emergency room.

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Where is the UCC located?

The UCC is on the 1st floor of Memorial Hospital (MSK’s main hospital). Its address is:

425 East 67th Street
(between York and First Avenues)
New York, NY 10065

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What will happen when I get to the UCC?

First, check in at the front desk. Then, have a seat in the waiting area. Listen for a UCC staff member to call your name.

After you check in, a UCC nurse will see you. The nurse will ask you about your symptoms and why you came to the UCC. You may also have blood tests, imaging scans, or other medical tests.

After that, you’ll go back to the UCC waiting area until an exam room is ready. As soon as a room is ready, a UCC healthcare provider will see you.

Even if you’re going to the UCC to be admitted to the hospital, an inpatient bed may not be ready right away. The UCC staff will take care of you while you’re waiting. They’ll tell you when an inpatient bed is ready.

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How long will I be waiting?

How long you wait depends on:

  • The type of medical problem you’re having.
  • How many other people are in the UCC. If it’s busy, you may need to wait longer.
  • The tests and procedures you have in the UCC. Depending on which ones you have, it may take time to get the results.

When you visit the UCC, we try to get you to an inpatient bed or discharged as soon as possible. It can be hard to know the exact amount of time this will take.

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Why was another person seen before me even though I got here first?

Many things affect the order in which people are seen. Sometimes, another person may be seen first if they have more urgent medical needs. We do everything we can to make sure both you and our other patients are as safe as possible.

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What should I do with my belongings?

Keep your belongings with you while you’re in the UCC. If you’d like a bag to put them in, ask a UCC staff member.

If you’re admitted to the hospital from the UCC, it’s best to leave any belongings you don’t need with a person you trust, such as a family member or friend.

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Can I eat or drink while I’m in the UCC?

Do not eat or drink anything until a UCC healthcare provider tells you it’s okay. You may need certain tests that can’t be done if you recently ate or drank.

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Can I have visitors in the UCC?

Yes. But, the UCC is a busy area. When you’re in the main clinical area of the UCC, only 1 person should be at your bedside at a time. Other visitors are welcome to wait in the waiting areas.

Children younger than 11 years old shouldn’t visit the UCC. This is for their own health and safety.

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Will I always be admitted to the hospital after coming to the UCC?

No. Where you go after coming to the UCC will be based on your medical and surgical history, physical exam, and test results. If it’s medically safe for you to go home, you’ll be discharged from the UCC. If you need more tests or treatment, you may:

  • Be transferred to the Clinical Decision Unit (the UCC’s observation unit, where you can get tests and short-term treatment).
  • Be admitted to the hospital.
  • Be transferred to another hospital.

A UCC healthcare provider will talk with you about what’s right for you.

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Will my MSK oncologist know I came to the UCC?

Yes. Once all your test results are available and a UCC healthcare provider decides the next steps for your care, they’ll tell your oncologist. If your oncologist isn’t available, the UCC healthcare provider will contact the doctor on call (covering) for your oncologist.

Your oncologist probably won’t see you while you’re in the UCC.

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What happens when I’m discharged?

Before you’re discharged from the UCC, a UCC healthcare provider or nurse will:

  • Talk with you about your current situation.
  • Review any medications you were prescribed.
  • Teach you how to care for yourself at home. They’ll also give you educational resources, if needed.
  • Give you a list of instructions to follow.
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Do I need to tell my insurance company when I visit the UCC?

Yes. Contact your insurance company within 1 to 2 days after you arrive at the UCC. If you don’t, you may have to pay a higher copayment or the total charge for your visit. The number to call is usually on your insurance card.

If you have questions about preauthorization with your insurance company, call MSK’s Patient Billing at 646-227-3378.

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