For Minor Illnesses and Injuries, Several Options Offer Quicker, More Affordable Alternative to Emergency Rooms
By Dr. Richard Smith, Medical Director, Intermountain Region, Humana
When you are sick or injured, it is essential for you to get the care you need. Connecting with your primary care physician is typically the best first step.
However, if that is not possible, it is important to realize that going straight to an emergency room (ER) is not always the best option, especially in non-emergency situations.
ERs and freestanding ERs, which aren’t physically attached to a hospital but are affiliated with one and charge ER prices or higher, typically have longer wait times and higher out-of-pocket costs.
Depending on the health condition and situation, there might be several options available to you that are often faster, less expensive and more accessible, while providing personalized care. They include:
- Urgent care centers,
- Retail clinics often located in supermarkets and drugstores, and
These options can provide you and your family with quality service for common injuries and illnesses. A partial list includes ear infections, allergies, sinus conditions, flu, bronchitis, colds, strep throat, minor burns and rashes, simple sprains, strains, abrasions, and contusions, as well as other non-life-threatening problems. [Read more…]