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.
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 care doctor. Your doctor 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 doctor isn’t available. So when you have a minor illness or injury, like an ankle sprain, 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.
Plus, many of these centers may cost less to visit than an ER for the same medical need. They often have shorter wait times, too.
How nice is that?
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.
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 primary care doctor.
For very minor conditions or illnesses, consider visiting a Retail Clinic.
When you have a minor illness or injury and your primary care doctor 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.
And finally, go to the ER 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. Call 24 hours a day, seven 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.
When a health concern arises, and you aren’t sure what to do, call the HumanaFirst Nurse Advice Line.* It is available 24 hours, seven days a week. A nurse will provide advice on how to treat your situation at home or decide that another level of care is appropriate.
Take advantage of the relationship you have with your doctor. Calling your doctor’s office, during business hours, may be your best option for treatment.
Check first if your provider is part of the network by using the Physician Finder tool on MyHumana1 or use the MyHumana1 App on your mobile device.
When your doctor isn’t available, a retail clinic may be able to help you with minor problems like a cold, earache, or sore throat. Retail clinics are conveniently located in your neighborhood.
You can use the Physician Finder tool on MyHumana1 or the MyHumana1 App on your mobile device to determine which retail clinics participate with your Humana plan. For additional questions or to verify eligibility to receive care at retail clinics please call the Member Services number shown on your Humana Member ID card.
When you have a minor illness or injury and your doctor isn’t available, you might consider going to an urgent care center. Waiting periods are usually shorter than in an emergency room and many centers have x-ray and lab services and are open in the evenings and on weekends. Consult with your nearest urgent care center to confirm the services they provide.
Visit the emergency room for a serious medical condition like uncontrolled bleeding, chest pain, heart attack, difficulty breathing and possible stroke, or any threat to life or limb. Be prepared. That’s the key to getting the right care in the right place.
*The Nurse Advice Line may not be available with all plans. Please call the Member Services number as shown on the back of your Humana Member ID card, or log onto MyHumana1, from the Get Healthy drop down select Health Programs to verify if your plan includes this service.
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