Did you know that Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan members went to the emergency room 500,000 times in 2015? If that seems like a huge number, this will be even more shocking: Almost half of those visits were unnecessary or avoidable.
When someone gets hurt or sick, a natural tendency is to fear the worst. A stomach ache turns into appendicitis; ankle pain means a broken bone. It doesn’t help that searching for information about symptoms online can lead you down a scary rabbit hole. With all that fear, it’s no wonder that people’s instinct is to rush themselves to an emergency room—especially if it’s late at night or on a weekend, when typical doctors’ offices are closed.
But while emergency room visits are crucial if you’re experiencing a life-threatening condition, most of the time there are better options. Your primary care physician is an excellent option for preventative care, to address symptoms early and effectively. The Blue Cross Blue Shield 24-hour nurse line can get your health questions answered fast, and can provide general wellness information and support no matter what time of day.
Urgent care centers are also available for a wide range of treatments—perfect for when you can’t find a suitable opening in your doctor’s schedule. Here are just some of the reasons an urgent care center can get you feeling better, faster:
- You don’t need appointments—just walk in the door and get help
- They are usually located close to home
- You’ll receive high-quality care from board certified doctors much more quickly than if you went to an ER
When you’re in the midst of a health scare and in extreme pain, you likely won’t want to take the time to find the nearest urgent care center. That’s why it’s important to research that now at bcbsm.com/findcare to see all of the options near where you work and live. Then, when something happens, you’ll know how to get the fastest care possible. For smaller issues and questions, you can also access the 24-hour Nurse Line: 1-800-775-BLUE (2583) for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan members and 1-855-624-5214 for Blue Care Network members.
For more about how an urgent care center can help you feel better, read these other blogs:
- A Guide to the ER: When to Go, When Not to Go
- When You Should—and Shouldn’t—Go to an Urgent Care Center
- Sick and Tired: See a Doctor from the Comfort of Home