Unless you are having a true emergency, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call your personal physician,” says Dr. Tim Gutshall, Chief Medical Officer at Wellmark who has over 20 years of experience as an emergency physician.
“For some reason, people hesitate to call their own physician in an urgent care situation,” says Gutshall. “But your doctor’s office or on-call service are trained to guide you through these events.”
“Oftentimes, as in the case of croup or fever, you need someone to talk you through the problem. The on-call doctor can give you something to try or tell you exactly what you need to look out for,” says Gutshall. “You’ll get the guidance you need to get through your situation safely. And he or she can follow up with you the next day.”
“If you don’t have a personal physician, get one,” says Dr. Gutshall. “Develop that relationship. It can be invaluable.”
In an emergency, don’t hesitate. Go to the emergency room, or call 9-1-1. But, if you feel your condition doesn’t require the emergency room, call your physician’s office. Another option is to call Personal Health Assistant 24/7 at 1-800-724-9122.
When to use the ER:
When to contact your physician or call Personal Health Assistant 24/7:
Source: American College of Emergency Physicians
|Cost comparison: er vs. Office visit|
|Emergency room treatment for non-emergency medical conditions is a major contributor to the rising cost of health care.|
|Average emergency room treatment cost
|Average physician’s office treatment cost
Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield Health Care Analytics, 2012