Deborah Fellinger
Health & Wellness

Do you know where to go in an emergency?

(Hint: it's not always the ER.)

When you’re ill or experiencing symptoms, knowing where to go for care can be tricky. “If you’re not sure where to go, talk to us,” says Zest Health nurse Ryan Tiltz. “We can get you to the right place and help you save money.”

If your symptoms are mild or moderate, see your PCP first. (Most should be able to see you during office hours day of or within 24 hours.) Beyond your PCP, options for care are:

  1. Emergency room
    There are times when the ER is unavoidable. Sometimes it’s pretty clear when you need to go. (Heart attack, asthma attack, severe burns, heavy bleeding are all reasons to go the ER.) But if your symptoms are less severe, it’s likely you have other options for care. “The ER is the most costly option, and people think they’re going to get immediate care,” Tiltz says. “But the ER can be busy, so there are wait times if you’re not in immediate need.”
  2. Urgent care
    Urgent care clinics are for situations when you need immediate care or diagnostics, like an x-ray. (It’s much less costly than a trip to the ER, too.) Not sure if you need urgent care? “We’ll call ahead to make sure they have all the necessary diagnostic tools before suggesting a visit,” says Tiltz.
  3. Quick-care clinics
    When you don’t want to wait or aren’t able to see your PCP for symptoms like a sinus infection or a sore throat, quick-care clinics are an option to consider. “Quick-care clinics are for last-minute situations, mild injury or illness, or after PCP office hours,” says Tiltz. Pharmacies like CVS or Walgreens often offer quick-care services.  

As urgent care costs average $153 and an ER visit averages $1,757, it may be worth it to consider all your options when seeking care or treatment. And if you need help, contact a Zest nurse at 866.333.4725. We’ll triage your symptoms and help you get to the right kind of care.

Zest Health is not a substitute for medical advice.
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Deborah Fellinger
Content strategist at Zest Health. Writes copy, drinks coffee. Author of this and other sentences.