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Getting the right care for whatever ails you

What's the best choice for specific health concerns?

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Virtual care, urgent care or an ER visit?

Ana* works full-time, is married and has two children. Follow her as she navigates the health system to access care for her family's health concerns. 

A case of the sniffles. A skateboard mishap. Difficulty breathing. An itchy rash. Where should you go when you feel sick or get injured? Ana relies on virtual visits, convenience care at a retail store, urgent care and — if it’s a serious medical issue — the emergency room.

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Follow Ana to see where she can get care, how long she has to wait, relative costs and what options may lead to  better outcomes.  

*Hypothetical examples are for illustrative purposes only. All events, persons and results described herein are entirely fictitious and amounts will vary depending on unique circumstances. Any resemblance to real events or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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  • Health Equity ER utilization

     

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    Help Ana navigate to the best care

    Ana* is married with two kids and works as a front desk clerk at a hotel. Sometimes, making an appointment for an in-person visit with their primary care provider isn’t the best option. In those cases, Ana relies on virtual visits, convenience care at a local retail store, urgent care and — if it’s a serious medical issue — the emergency room.

    *Hypothetical examples are for illustrative purposes only. All events, persons and results described herein are entirely fictitious and amounts will vary depending on unique circumstances. Any resemblance to real events or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

    Select a health concern

    • Sniffles and scratchy throat
    • Earache
    • Skateboard mishap
    • Chest pain and difficulty breathing
    • Skin rash

     

    SNIFFLES AND SCRATCHY THROAT

    Virtual care

    Cost: $

    Wait time: By appointment

    Availability: 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

    Ana has the sniffles and a scratchy throat. She makes an appointment for a virtual visit with her doctor. They discuss her symptoms and the doctor notes that the pollen count is especially high. The doctor recommends she resume taking her over-the-counter allergy medications. Within a day or two, Ana’s feeling much better.

    EARACHE

    Convenience care

    Cost: $$

    Wait time: 1 hour

    Availability: 8 a.m.–7 p.m.

    At dinner, Ana’s 9-year-old says it hurts to chew food because of an earache. Ana goes online and schedules an appointment at the local convenience care clinic for that same evening. Her child is diagnosed with an ear infection and prescribed medication, which they pick up at the store pharmacy.

     

    SKATEBOARD MISHAP

    Urgent care

    Cost: $$$

    Wait time: 15 minutes

    Availability: 8 a.m.–8 p.m.

    Ana’s 14-year-old crashes while riding a skateboard and it hurts to put weight on one foot. Ana takes the teen to urgent care. An X-ray reveals no broken bones, and the doctor says it’s a sprain that can be treated with rest, elevating the foot, and applying ice. “I’m glad you were wearing a helmet,” the doctor says.

    CHEST PAIN AND DIFFICULTY BREATHING

    Emergency room

    Cost: $$$$

    Wait time: 3 hours

    Availability: 24/7

    Ana’s spouse, Kelsey, is having chest pains and difficulty breathing. Ana calls 911. Taken by ambulance to the ER, Kelsey is seen right away. The ER doctor orders an ECG and other tests, which take several hours. The tests do not indicate Kelsey’s had a heart attack. After determining Kelsey can be safely discharged, the doctor provides a referral to a heart specialist for further testing and treatment.

    SKIN RASH

    Virtual care

    Cost: $

    Wait time: By appointment

    Availability: 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

    Ana has a rash on her arm and thinks she might have been in contact with poison ivy. She sends a request for a virtual appointment and includes a photograph of the rash. At the appointment, the nurse confirms it is a poison ivy rash and provides advice on how to treat it.

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What will it take to make affordable, quality health care accessible to all?

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