Custom AgentClient/Member Resources
Jan 18, 2024
1 Minute Read

An important message for your clients about emergency room use

The emergency room is absolutely where your clients should go for life-threatening illnesses or injuries, such as chest pain, head trauma, and other serious conditions.

However, ERs see far too many minor injuries and illnesses – respiratory infections, UTIs, sprains, headaches – which contribute to long wait times and unnecessary patient expense.

In an environment where hospitals and ERs are short staffed and patient emotions are escalated due to long waits, please help educate your clients about when to head to the ER and when another option is more appropriate.

Consider printing this article for clients, pasting it into an email, or posting it on your business website or blog.

Getting the right care at the right place may not mean going to the ER

The ER is absolutely where you should go for a life-threatening illness or injury, such as chest pain, head trauma, and other serious conditions.

However, for minor injuries or illnesses – such as a respiratory infection, UTI, sprain, headache – you have options that provide faster, less expensive, more appropriate care.

Where to go for care

Use this guide to know where to go for care before you need it.

Primary care physician (PCP)

For sick care, minor injuries, annual preventive visits, diagnostics, and management of chronic conditions, a PCP is the best option. Your PCP may be a Spira Care provider*, in-network doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant.

Virtual care 

Virtual care is a good option for minor issues like a cold, flu, or pink eye, or if you need care at night, on the weekend, or when your doctor is not available. You can visit a virtual care doctor through the MyBlueKC mobile app or at

Retail health clinics 

Visit a retail health clinic in a supermarket, drugstore, or big-box retail store for minor, uncomplicated illnesses or injuries when you cannot wait for an appointment with your PCP.

Urgent care 

Urgent care is an option for non-life-threatening injuries or illnesses that require immediate care, such as ear pain, persistent diarrhea or vomiting, minor burns, or a shallow cut.

Need a PCP? 

  • Find one in your neighborhood – Visit your member portal at, select Find Care in the left column, then enter any of the following in the search bar: PCP, family medicine, internal medicine, general practice, or a specific provider name. 
  • Visit a Spira Care Center – Blue KC members enrolled in a plan with Spira Care can visit a Spira Care Center for $0**. Make an appointment at one of nine Spira Care Centers in the Kansas City metro area.  

*If your Blue KC health plan includes Spira Care. **Blue KC members with a Spira Care HSA plan pay a low cost for visits.

Help clients know where to go for care.

Get the right care at the right place
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