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Know Your Options

When you need care fast, it’s important to know where to turn. Some cases are emergencies. If you have an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. If you aren’t having an emergency, going to the ER can mean a long wait. Plus, you could be making it harder for the staff there to help the people who really need them. So what do you do when you have a sudden sickness or injury?

As a Health Partners Medicare member, you have options. Your primary care provider (PCP) should be your first choice for many problems. However, there are also urgent care centers and walk-in clinics. Health Partners Medicare members can also talk to a doctor by phone or video chat with Teladoc®. Read below to learn more about each option and see a chart showing common conditions and where to go for help.

Primary care provider

Your PCP is your medical home. He or she coordinates your care. See your PCP if you can. Many offices offer extended hours. You can also leave a message for the doctor after hours. Most offices have an on-call physician who will call you back.

Walk-in clinics and urgent care centers

Walk-in clinics and urgent care centers offer evening and weekend hours. They will see you without an appointment. The average wait time is 45 minutes. It’s important to remember that they do different things. Urgent care centers are “one-stop shopping.” They can do most lab work, take X-rays, place IVs and apply stitches. Walk-in clinics offer convenience, but offer fewer services. They are usually found in drug stores and supermarkets.

Teladoc®

Teladoc is a special service offered at no cost to Health Partners Medicare members. With Teladoc, you have 24/7 access to board-certified doctors. The maximum wait time for a doctor to call you back is 15 minutes. You can “visit” over the phone or by video call on a computer, cell phone or tablet. The doctor can answer questions and even send some short-term prescriptions to your pharmacy. It’s helpful if you take 10 minutes now to register so that you can get care when you need it. Call 1-800-TELADOC (835-2362), visit www.teladoc.com or download the app.

Common conditions and where to go

Condition

PCP

Urgent Care

Walk-in Clinic

Teladoc

ER

Aches, pains and sprains

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Bleeding (uncontrollable)

No

No

No

No

Yes

Breathing difficulty

No

No

No

No

Yes

Broken bones

No

Yes (less serious)

Yes

No

Yes (serious)

Diarrhea or nausea

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Fever, flu, or cold symptoms

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

High fever*

No

No

No

No

Yes

Head injury (conscious)

No

Yes

No

No

Yes

Heart attack**

No

No

No

No

Yes

Infections (yeast, urinary, etc.)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Lab tests

Call

Yes

Call

No

No

Poisoning or overdose

No

No

No

No

Yes

Pregnancy problems

No

No

No

No

Yes

Seizure, convulsions, passing out

No

No

No

No

Yes

Skin rashes or insect bites

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Splinter

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

Stiches (removal)

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

Stitches (needed)

Call

Yes

No

No

Yes

Stroke***

No

No

No

No

Yes

Suicidal or homicidal

No

No

No

No

Yes

Vaccines

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

Vomiting (1–2 days)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Wound care (minor)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Advice

No

*99°F or more for newborns; 104°F or more for children; 103°F or more for adults.

**Heart attack symptoms typically include chest pain, nausea, shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, fainting, dizziness.

***Stroke symptoms typically include loss of vision, sudden numbness, weakness, slurred speech, or confusion.

This information is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Always seek the advice of a doctor or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In the event of a medical emergency, call 911.

 

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