The where of health care matters


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The where of health care matters

  1. 1. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is a nonprofit corporation and independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. This is only a guide and not a substitute for medical advice from a professional. The where of health care … it matters. Your primary care physician This is the best place for you to receive care when illness or injury strike. Make an appointment for: • Minor sore throat • Earache • Minor cuts and scrapes • Sprains and strains • Fever under 103º F. • Colds and flu • Skin rash Advantages: your PCP knows you, has your medical records and can direct any follow-up care you might need. Many PCPs now have more flexible hours, some even accepting weekend appointments, and can be reached after hours by telephone or email. Urgent care center When your PCP isn’t available, make sure you’re familiar with a local urgent care center. Use urgent care centers for non-life threatening illnesses or medical issues that can grow worse if you leave them untreated. • Minor sore throat • Earache • Minor cuts and scrapes • Sprains and strains • Fever under 103º F. • Colds and flu • Skin rash Advantages: The chief advantage of urgent care centers is their ease of use. With extended hours, walk-in service and generally convenient locations, urgent care centers are your next best choice behind your PCP. Hospital emergency room The hospital emergency room should be reserved for serious, potentially life- threatening medical emergencies only. This list provides a few examples to help you decide if you should head to the ER: • Severe injuries — Injuries that must be diagnosed and immediately treated or they could result in permanent damage to your health. – Examples: broken bones, severe sprains, deep cuts or uncontrollable bleeding, poisoning, severe burns • Medical emergencies — The sudden onset of a serious condition that, in the absence of immediate medical attention, could result in serious jeopardy to your health − Examples: chest pains, fevers over 103º F., severe abdominal pain, coughing or vomiting blood, sudden dizziness, weakness or loss of coordination or balance; loss of consciousness, numbness in the face, arm or leg, seizures, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath; sudden blurred vision, sudden severe, unusual headache; and for pregnant women, any emergency that could jeopardize the pregnancy Advantages: Hospital ERs are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and are equipped to deal with any type of sudden, serious illness or injury with an extended stay if necessary. Need help with a decision? BCBSM and BCN members can call the BlueHealthConnection® 24/7 nurse line at 1-800-775-BLUE or check out Learn the where of health care.