Where to go for care

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The unexpected happens more than we’d like and when it does, it often makes us realize how unprepared we may be for many things in life. When you have to make an urgent healthcare decision, make sure you are ready. Here are some of the choices available to you, so you know where to go the next time you need treatment.

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It happens. You trip and hurt an ankle, or cut yourself while making your favorite meal. Or maybe you get sick with what you think is the flu -- or is it allergies? -- and feel downright miserable.

Now the big question is, where do you go for care?

Many times, people go to the Emergency Room, thinking that is their only option. And they may experience the financial pain of that visit later.

But you can pick the right place at the right time for your condition. And your choice may save you time and money.

First, if your condition can wait, schedule an appointment with your primary healthcare provider. Your provider knows you and your health history, so he or she is usually your better option for routine care and anything that isn’t a true emergency.

Of course, sometimes the unexpected happens when your health care provider isn’t available. So when you have a minor illness or damage, like an ankle injury, that can’t wait until you can see your doctor, consider visiting your closest in-network urgent care center. Most have extended evening and weekend hours.

Many of these urgent care centers can handle diagnostic testing, stitches, X-rays, and more.

But maybe you’re unsure whether you need urgent care. You feel okay, but want to make sure it’s nothing too serious.

For those very minor illnesses, like an earache or a sore throat, you can also swing by a local retail clinic, usually located at select pharmacies, groceries and big-box stores such as Walmart® or Target®.

But always remember: If you are worried, or believe your medical condition is life threatening, visit the emergency room or call 911.

So let’s review.

If you have a minor illness or injury, call your healthcare provider.

When you have a minor illness or injury and your healthcare provider isn’t available, you might consider going to an Urgent Care Center. Make a note now of the location, hours, and services at the one located closest to you so you’ll be prepared.

For very minor conditions or illnesses, consider visiting a local retail clinic.

And finally, go to the emergency room or call 911 if you are experiencing a life-threatening condition.

Knowing your choices may help you get the care you need. And, it just may save you time and money.

Still not sure where to go? The HumanaFirst® Nurse Advice Line has registered nurses standing by to answer questions about your health, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Find an in-network provider using Physician Finder on the MyHumana app or at MyHumana.com.

Download our ​choices for care document for more information on where to go for care.

HumanaFirst® Nurse Advice Line*

When a health concern arises, and you aren’t sure what to do, call the HumanaFirst Nurse Advice Line, 24 hours, 7 days a week. A nurse will provide advice about your situation or advise that another level of care is appropriate. This is not to be used in the case of an emergency. In case of an emergency, dial 911.

Doctor’s office

Take advantage of the relationship you have with your medical provider. Calling your provider’s office during business hours is your best option for treatment in non-emergency situations.

Telemedicine

Connect with a doctor within minutes.** Talk with a U.S. board-certified doctor from the comfort of your own home, office or while traveling, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, where internet or phone connections are available. The technology is HIPAA-compliant and most prescriptions may be sent to the pharmacy of your choice. No appointment is needed. Telemedicine may be an affordable and convenient option for you.***

Retail clinic

When you can’t see your healthcare provider, a retail clinic can help you with minor problems like a cold, earache or sore throat. Retail clinics are conveniently located at certain stores, such as CVS®, Target®, Kroger® and Walgreens®. Other retail clinics may also be available in the network.

Urgent care center

When you have a minor illness or injury and your healthcare provider isn’t available, you might consider going to an urgent care center. Waiting periods are usually shorter than in an emergency room. Many centers have X-ray and lab services and are open in the evenings and on weekends.****

Emergency room (ER)

Visit the emergency room for a serious medical situation that might represent a threat to your life or limbs. It’s appropriate for situations like uncontrolled bleeding, chest pain, difficulty breathing and possible stroke.

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Flu season is nothing to sneeze at. For some it can lead to more serious health issues. Protect yourself and those around you by getting your annual flu vaccine.

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