When to use the alternative
What will you do if you or a loved one needs immediate medical care? Most of us answer, “Go to the nearest emergency room.” But ER wait times are at an all-time high. So, unless it’s a true emergency, you’ll likely get quicker, quality medical care somewhere else. Like urgent care centers, medical clinics or walk-in clinics. That’s why it’s important to know your ER alternatives now, before you need them. You can often get treated more quickly and pay much less than you would for emergency care.
Use these options when you need medical care quickly, but can’t see your regular doctor. These clinics are usually open nights and weekends, and cost about the same as a doctor visit. Before you go, call and ask about their hours, services and whether they participate in your Anthem Blue Cross network by looking at our on-line provider directory
. See a chart of symptoms
to learn about what symptoms can be treated at an ER Alternative. Remember, if you’re an HMO member, you should call your primary doctor's office or medical group to find out your Emergency Room alternative options for urgent care.
| Retail health clinic — A clinic staffed by health care professionals who give basic health care services to “walk-in” patients. Most often in a major pharmacy or retail store.|
| Urgent care center without X-ray — A doctor’s office that doesn’t require you to be an existing patient or have an appointment. Can handle routine care and common family illnesses.|
| Urgent care center with X-ray — A group of doctors who treat conditions that should be looked at right away but aren’t as severe as emergencies. Can often do X-rays, lab tests and stitches.||
EMERGENCY ROOM RULE OF THUMB
Call 911 or go to the emergency room if you think you could put your health at serious risk by delaying care.
Want more information on urgent care centers?
1. Call our 24/7 NurseLineSM. The number is on the back of your ID card.
2. If you don't have 24/7 NurseLine, call the Customer Service number on the back of your card.