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Know Your Medical Care Options
If your doctor is unavailable, do you know where to go for immediate medical care? The answer is different depending on what type of medical care you need. When you can’t make an immediate appointment with your doctor, it’s important to know what other options you have. Knowing your options can help you save time and money and access the care you need when you need it.
When your doctor is unavailable, you have four main options for immediate medical care:
Health Line Blue
Health Line Blue is BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina’s 24-hour health information line that connects you with a specially trained nurse who can answer your medical questions on virtually any health care topic. Health Line Blue nurses can answer questions and provide care tips for symptom relief for a variety of minor and moderate health issues, including sore or strep throat, fevers, allergy symptoms, coughs and colds, minor wounds, and more. Health Line Blue offers support in both English and Spanish at no cost for associates with BB&T medical coverage.
Convenience Care Centers
Convenience care centers, such as CVS MinuteClinic®, offer basic care from a nurse practitioner or physician assistant for anyone over 18 months old on a walk-in basis. These centers can provide care for minor health issues such as sprains, minor burns and cuts, skin issues like rashes, earaches, and more. Most convenience care centers have weekend hours and extended hours on weeknights; call the center you plan on visiting for their specific hours and services.
Urgent Care Centers
Urgent care centers, such as FastMed Urgent Care, provide immediate quality care from a physician or other medical professional. Available on a walk-in basis, these centers can provide care for both minor and moderate health issues, such as minor broken bones, asthma attacks, nasal congestion, chicken pox, and more, and typically have x-ray and lab services available. Many urgent care centers have extended weekday and weekend hours and some are available 24-hours a day. Each center is different; call your specific urgent care center for specific hours and services.
Emergency rooms provide 24/7 care for severe and life threatening medical emergencies from trained clinicians. Examples of severe and life threatening emergencies include loss of consciousness, chest pain, severe bleeding or burns, head trauma, etc. If you need immediate medical attention for an emergency, go to your nearest emergency room or call 911.
Not sure which option is right for you? Call Health Line Blue at 1-877-477-2424 to speak with a specially trained nurse who can answer your medical care questions and direct you to the most appropriate place for your specific issue.
Note: Health Line Blue should not be used for medical emergencies. If you are facing a medical emergency that threatens your life or health, call 911 or go to the emergency room of your nearest hospital.
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