It is good practice to be proactive with your health and visit your primary care provider (PCP) regularly. By doing this, your PCP can identify and treat any health issues before they become urgent or emergent.
It is also a good idea to know your options for urgent medical or mental health concerns before you are sick or injured and need care right away. Your PCP can help you understand what conditions or symptoms do not require immediate attention. Also, talk with your PCP about signs and symptoms of a medical emergency that require calling 911 or going to the emergency room (ER).
Why call your PCP first when it’s not an emergency?
- Your primary care practice holds appointments for urgent needs.
- Providers are available by phone after hours for consultation and guidance.
- They know your history so can better manage your urgent and long-term health needs.
- They can order emergency prescription refills.
Why avoid the ER if it’s not a true emergency?
- The ER can have long wait times.
- The ER does not have access to your medical history. This can lead to unnecessary tests and procedures.
- They can only fill a very limited dosage of prescription medication and may need to talk with your provider first.
- If your condition or injury is not an emergency, you may get charged a copay.
Things to Remember When You Do Use the ER
Before you leave the ER, ask how to check the status and get results from labs or other tests taken during your visit. The ER should send a visit report to your PCP, but also ask for a printed copy. Most importantly, be sure to schedule a follow-up visit with your PCP and bring a copy of your ER visit report.
Getting Care During COVID-19
Health care providers have processes in place to keep you safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, so be sure to make and keep important appointments. If you are uncomfortable with an in-person visit or are unable to leave your home, PCPs and other types of providers now offer virtual options. Learn more about telemedicine and the types of care you can get using this option.
CCHA is also here for you!
Call CCHA Member Support Services
303-256-1717 | 719-598-1540 | 1-855-627-4685 (TTY 711)
Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm