Emergency rooms (ER) are often crowded, chaotic and costly. So what do you do when you need care right away, but don't feel it's a true emergency?
Clinics and urgent care centers can be great alternatives to the emergency room.
Retail "walk-in" health clinics and urgent care centers are made for these situations. You can usually be seen faster and pay less for your care than in an emergency room. It usually costs about the same as a regular doctor visit. Plus, most retail health clinics and urgent care centers are open when your doctor's office is closed.
Provide basic medical services to "walk-in" patients. You'll usually find them in major pharmacy or retail stores like CVS, Kroger or Wal-Mart.
Urgent care centers
Use them when you need immediate health care, but symptoms are not severe or life-threatening, and do not require a hospital or emergency rom. Things like earache, sore throat, rash, sprained ankle, flu and fever not higher than 104 degrees. Some urgent care centers have X-rays and other equipment to identify and treat broken bones or other problems.
Anthem has a great online tool that can show you local ER alternatives. Check it out at anthem.com/eralt/oh.
Remember, you can call the 24/7 NurseLine at 888-249-3820 any time you have a health concern. You'll reach an experienced licensed nurse who'll answer your questions 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.