To ER or not to ER?
Find an ER alternative near you:
retail health clinics,
walk-in doctor offices
urgent care centers

When to use the Emergency Room

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.
 
ER alternatives  
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 Blue Shield network by looking at our on-line provider directory. See a chart of symptoms that can be treated at an ER Alternative.
Retail health clinic. Many major pharmacies and retail stores now have walk-in clinics. Keep them in mind when you need convenient, routine care, like for coughs and flu shots.
Walk-in doctor’s office. No appointment needed. A good choice when you need minor medical care in a hurry, like for mild asthma or minor allergic reactions.
Urgent care center. Urgent care clinics can usually handle problems like stitches, sprains and X-rays. Things that need immediate attention, but aren't life threatening. It is recommended that members contact one of these locations to confirm which services are provided.
Your Average Copay: $150-250 ER Visit vs. $35-$55* Urgent Care Center, retail health clinic, walk-in clinic
 
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. 
 
LET A NURSE HELP YOU DECIDE
1.   Talk directly with a nurse any time of day or night at 1-888-258-3432 (toll free) this number can be found on the back of your Federal Employee Program identification card.
2.   A nurse will help you decide which type of care makes the most sense and can help you find a clinic or health center near you.
 

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