First Option: Primary Care Provider
If the care you need is not an emergency, make an appointment with your Primary Care Provider (PCP). If you’re not sure if you require emergency care, contact your PCP to help you evaluate your symptoms and determine where you need to go.
Wherever you receive care, you should notify your PCP of your visit. Keeping your PCP informed is the best way to ensure he or she is aware of your medical history.
Alternative Option: Urgent Care Center, Walk-In Clinic or Retail Telehealth (Amwell)
If you need to take care of a problem right away because you feel sick or uncomfortable and a PCP is not available, an urgent care center or walk-in clinic is the next best option. These clinics usually offer walk-in service, and are often open before and after regular business hours and on weekends. In most cases, an appointment is not necessary.
Additionally, if you are experiencing symptoms of a commonly treated condition such as a sinus infection, migraine or the flu, Telehealth services from American Well (Amwell*) can help 24/7. Just download the Amwell app to your smart phone or tablet, or visit Amwell.com. After creating an account, you can view a list of available board-certified doctors and select one to engage in a secure live video visit.
Emergency Options: Emergency Room
Emergency rooms are set up to focus on medical emergencies, not routine healthcare. When you go to the emergency room, a healthcare provider, who may not be familiar with your medical history, will determine whether you need emergency care. We also want you to be aware that if you go to the ER for a problem that is not an emergency, it may cost you more.
Why Does it Matter to Me?
If you go to the emergency room for a problem that is not an emergency:
- You may wait longer
- You may pay more
- Your care will come from someone who doesn’t know your medical history
Search for hospitals, pharmacies, walk-in clinics and urgent care centers using the Blue KC Doctor and Hospital Finder. You may also contact Blue KC Customer Service by calling the phone number printed on your Member ID Card.
Guide to Finding the Best Care Option
IMPORTANT: Members with serious or life-threatening injuries or illnesses should be taken directly to an emergency room, or you should call 911. When you visit an emergency room, we ask that you notify Blue KC within 48 hours of the admission time, or as soon as reasonably possible.
* American Well’s online Care Group is an independent provider contracted to participate in Blue KC’s commercial provider networks. Services are limited to medical and children’s medical services only.