If you can’t reach your doctor or need care outside of regular office hours, urgent care centers and retail health clinics are good options. Retail health clinics are walk-in clinics found in many large pharmacies and retail stores. They are staffed by nurse practitioners and physician assistants and are designed to treat simple conditions, like cold and flu, ear infections and skin conditions. Urgent care centers have physicians on staff and can provide care for a greater range of conditions, including performing x-rays. In most cases, the out-of-pocket cost for visiting a retail health clinic or urgent care center will cost less than a trip to the emergency room, but it’s always a good idea to check to make sure the location you select is covered by your plan. BCBS members can use the Blue Cross Blue Shield Provider Finder to locate in-network facilities. Your primary care doctor should be your first call in non-emergency situations. Your doctor knows you and your health history, including what medications you are taking and what chronic conditions might need to be considered in your treatment. Plus, the co-pay for a visit to your doctor’s office will cost far less than a trip to the emergency room. This option can also help you avoid the long wait times typically found in an emergency room. Even if your doctor is unavailable or not an expert in the area of care you need, he or she can refer you to a specialist or another medical professional. Call us at (929) 999-8490.
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