In the Texas Community

Emergency Room Use

Knowing what is – and isn’t – an emergency can help you plan for the unexpected.

We want to help you make smarter choices on where you receive health care. Listen to the message above from Dan McCoy, M.D., BCBSTX President, and visit www.smartercaretexas.com for more helpful tips.

You can also view or listen to our Blue Promise series on emergency care:

Show Transcript

Life happens.

One minute you’re making vegetable stir fry for dinner and the next moment you’ve sliced your finger.

Luckily, your health insurance helps you control your care – and your costs. In these situations, you have lots of options.

Knowing what is – and isn’t – an emergency can help you plan for the unexpected.

So how do you tell in the heat of the moment? Just use your best judgement. If you have heart or breathing problems, heavy bleeding, broken bones or severe pain – then yes, go to the ER. But if you don’t think it’s a true emergency, go to an urgent care center or a retail clinic.

If you go to an ER for something like an ingrown toenail, you could get a bill for $53,000 -- and believe me, I’ve seen it. It happens.

ERs can be an expensive and time-consuming place to treat things like ingrown toenails, minor cuts or even head lice.

I’m Dr. Dan McCoy, President of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas. We want to help you make smarter choices on where you receive health care. Visit SmarterCareTexas dot com.

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