You’re running around the house trying to check off the seemingly never-ending to-do list that comes with going on vacation. The laundry and dishes are done, your bags are packed, and the car is loaded with everything you could possibly need. Suddenly, you hear some commotion coming from the kitchen. Turns out, your youngest daughter accidentally touched the stove top that was still hot from dinner. It appears to be minor, but you want to get her relief — and fast. The only problem: Your regular doctor’s office isn’t open at this time of night.
Think your only option is the emergency room? Think again.
Know your options for care
It can be difficult knowing whether a physician's office, walk-in clinic or an emergency room is the right option – but it can cost you more or less, depending on where you decide to go.
Millions of Americans use emergency rooms for routine medical care, like treatment for strep throat, ankle sprains and more. Not only do they face long wait times for services, they also pay around 10 times more than they would have in a regular doctor’s office — for the same treatment.
While it's important to get emergency care for conditions like chest pain, loss of consciousness or severe, uncontrolled bleeding, you should know your options when you're not in an emergency health situation.
Consider the pharmacy
Your local pharmacy might be all you need for pain relief for minor burns, scrapes and other minor injuries. Look for over-the-counter ointments, bandages and other first-aid supplies at a relatively low cost.
Go to your personal doctor
It may cost you a little more, but you may need to go to your personal doctor's office. After all, they know you best. If your doctor is out, you can ask to see another doctor at that office.
Visit a virtual doctor
For a similar out-of-pocket cost as seeing your personal doctor, you can see and talk with a doctor from your smartphone, tablet or computer with Doctor On Demand External Site. Your virtual doctor can treat most common medical conditions and even prescribe medication, so it may be a great alternative to a walk-in clinic.
Go to a walk-in clinic
If you can't wait for an appointment, or if your doctor's office isn't open, you can visit a nearby walk-in clinic. You may pay more than your personal doctor's office, but you will receive similar care.
An emergency room visit
The emergency room is a more expensive option and should be reserved for life-threatening conditions, or any concern where you feel like a delay in care (even if it's only a few hours) could negatively impact your health.
Still not sure where to go?
Call BeWell 24/7 at Eight, Four, Four, Eight, Four, Be Well day or night to receive an evaluation based on your symptoms and recommendations for where to go for care.
You're still covered away from home
Figuring out where to go for care when you’re traveling or in an unfamiliar area can be stressful. Rest assured, your benefits work even when you’re away from home. Keep in mind that seeing a doctor who’s out of your network may mean you’re responsible for the full cost of your visit, except in the case of an emergency.
Your best option
Luckily for you, there is a 24-hour pharmacy just up the road from you with a pharmacist still on duty. He was able to look at your daughter’s hand and recommend a burn ointment to help soothe her skin and allow it to heal.
Choosing this option for care saved you the hours spent waiting in the emergency room as well as the expense for treatment.
Doctor On Demand physicians do not prescribe Drug Enforcement Administration-controlled substances, and may elect not to treat or prescribe other medications based on what is clinically appropriate.