BlueCross® BlueShield® of South Carolina and BlueChoice HealthPlan members can avoid needless worry, out-of-pocket costs and hours and time sitting in the emergency room (ER) by knowing how to navigate through the health care system and being familiar with other options for care. Here are some resources to use when health care needs are not a true emergency.
1. Primary Care Physician (PCP)
A PCP should be the first choice for health care. A PCP addresses common medical issues such as:
- Illnesses such as colds, flu, earaches and sore throats
- Minor injuries such as sprains, strains and back pain
- Routine physical exams, vaccinations and screenings
If your patient doesn’t have a PCP, he or she can contact Customer Service to get help finding a doctor that fits his or her needs.
2. Network Urgent Care Clinics
Urgent Care clinics provide another option when patients need care and a PCP is not available. Urgent care clinics provide care for medical problems needing immediate attention, but are not life-threatening, or for problems that could get worse if the patient waits. An urgent care visit usually takes less time than a hospital ER and costs less.
3. Blue CareOnDemandSM
Members can now visit with a doctor faster and easier than ever. With Blue CareOnDemand, members can visit with a doctor via smartphone, tablet or computer, rather than visiting an office or urgent care clinic. Doctors will diagnosis and write prescriptions as appropriate for issues such as:
- Pink eye
- Ear infection
Members can download the app via the App Store or Google Play or visit www.BlueCareOnDemandSC.com
to sign up for Blue CareOnDemand.
When should a patient go to the ER?
The ER is only for very serious or life-threatening problems such as:
- Sudden or unexplained loss of consciousness
- Signs of heart attack
- Signs of a stroke
- Severe shortness of breath
- Medication/drug overdose, alcohol poisoning
The ER is not a substitute for a PCP visit. Going to the ER for something that is not a true emergency could result in long wait times and may result in claims not being paid for the visit.
If you have questions about this bulletin, please contact Provider Education at 803-264-4730 or submit your question using the Provider Education Contact Form
BlueCross® BlueShield® of South Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.