You have many options for getting care when you don’t feel well. Knowing where to go to get the right care for your needs is important. It can also save you time and money.
If you’re sick and need care, these are your options:
Your regular doctor’s office
When you’re sick, if you don’t have a medical emergency, the best first step is to go to your regular doctor. Your doctor knows you and your health history. Your doctor will also be able to do your follow-up care.
If you don’t have a regular doctor you may not be able to get an appointment right away. Use one of the other options below. Once you feel better, you should find a regular doctor. That way you’ll be able to make an appointment the next time you’re sick.
If you’re sick and have trouble making an appointment, Dr. Tomorrow is a great service for you. Dr. Tomorrow can find you an appointment with a doctor within 24 hours. Sometimes the very same day! It also saves you money. The copay is just $15.
If you’re sick and it’s after hours, or your doctor’s office is closed, urgent care might be what you need. You should go to an urgent care center if you have a health problem that can’t wait until the next day, but is not life-threatening. There are several urgent care centers around the city and some are open 24 hours. You will have a $40 copay.
If you have a life-threatening problem, go to the nearest hospital or call 911. An emergency room can provide care for severe health issues such as:
- chest pain
- difficulty breathing
- head trauma
- severe bleeding
- loss of vision
Do you need to stay at the hospital?
If you need to be admitted to the hospital, your doctor or the hospital must get pre-authorization first. If you’re admitted in an emergency situation, the hospital must get approval within 24 hours.
Do you need surgery?
If you need surgery for your health problem, you may have the option to get it at an outpatient surgery center instead of in a hospital. You will not have to stay overnight. There’s a $150 copay.
If you or a loved one have a medical emergency and can’t drive to the hospital, call 911 for an ambulance. It’s always best to call 911 for emergencies like a heart attack or a stroke. Paramedics will start life-saving treatment on the way to the hospital.
You should call 911 if you:
- have trouble breathing
- have severe pain or bleeding
- have impaired vision or
- feel like you’re going to pass out
If you’re taken to a hospital emergency room by ambulance, you will have to pay 25% of the cost of your ride.