When people need medical attention, their initial thought is to go to the emergency room (ER) to guarantee immediate medical attention by real doctors.
What they do not consider are the costs that result from ER visits. In fact, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH), the median price of the average emergency room ranges from $1,233 to $2,168.
That's a considerable cost to the employer, too.
Employees and their families need to know their care options for everyday conditions like stomach pain, headaches, sore throat, cold or flu-like symptoms elsewhere more cost-effectively.
For instance, the average cost of a virtual visit ranges from $40 to $80, and convenient care or a retail clinic ranges from $2 to $100.
Urgent care can be a better option than the ER. To learn more about helping employees find the best care option for the best price, visit FindTheRightCare.org website. Also, download our employee education slide deck entitled You’ve Got the Power.
Employees can get a free, clear look with Buoy Assistant on FindTheRightCare.org. Buoy Assistant provides users with a personalized and accurate view of what they may be experiencing. This artificial intelligence (AI) powered chatbot responds to symptom descriptions with possible diagnoses and healthcare suggestions in real-time.
Buoy Assistant is free for anyone to use and is available 24/7. If they need a second opinion before receiving care, WebMD and the Mayo Clinic also offer symptom checkers at no cost. But symptom checkers provide a list of possible conditions, not actual diagnoses, and should not replace seeking a medical professional.
Urge employees to watch out for medication side effects. Before starting a new medication, doctors will sometimes warn patients of potential side effects, but some do not.
Encourage employees to stay on top of their health. Primary care physicians (PCPs) are great resources to utilize, too. For example, when the time of year comes around for the flu vaccine, your child needs their well-child vaccines, or it is time for an annual checkup, a PCP should be the go-to person. PCPs have access to medical records and know their medical history.
Not only do PCPs look out for their overall health and well-being, but they also look out for their wallet. The average cost of a visit to a PCP is $50 to $200. Whether they are experiencing side effects from starting a new medication, feeling under the weather, or having a minor injury, these alternatives to the ER will promptly deliver quality care.
About Health Action Council
Health Action Council is a not-for-profit 501(c)(6) organization representing mid-and large-size employers that enhance human and economic health through thought leadership, innovative services, and collaboration.
It provides value to its members by facilitating projects that improve the quality and moderate the cost of healthcare purchased by its members for their employees, dependents, and retirees.
Health Action Council also collaborates with key stakeholders – health plans, physicians, hospitals, and the pharmaceutical industry – to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare in the community.