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Urgent Care

Your relationship with your doctor is very important. But as we all know, health problems can come up anytime — in the middle of the night or on the weekend.

Where can you go when your doctor's office is closed?

If your condition is life-threatening, call 911 or go to the Emergency Room.  But if you are sick or hurt with something like the flu or a minor burn, you have the option of going to an Urgent Care Center.

What Is Urgent Care?

When you can't get in to see your doctor, you can visit an Urgent Care Center for non-life threatening conditions that need to be treated right away.  

This includes common illnesses like the flu, or having a low-grade fever or an earache.  Urgent care is also for minor injuries such as sprains, back pain, or small cuts and burns.

How to Get Urgent Care

In most cases, you can see someone at an Urgent Care Center the same day you walk in.  You do not need to make an appointment, and wait times are typically not as long as they are in Emergency Rooms. 

Call Member Services at 1-888-839-9909 if you need help finding an Urgent Care Center near you, and to find out the hours they are open.

If you want to talk to someone about your health concern, you can also call L.A. Care's Nurse Advice Line at 1-800-249-3619. Tell the nurse your symptoms, and he or she can help you decide the best place for you to go for care.

After Urgent Care

You do not need to get pre-approval from your doctor to go to an Urgent Care Center.  But we encourage you to contact your doctor and let him or her know about your visit as soon as possible.  You may need follow-up care from your doctor.

When to Go to an Urgent Care Center

Urgent care is for non-life threatening conditions. Some examples of such conditions include:

  • A common illness like the flu
  • Minor fever or headache
  • Painful sore throat
  • Earache or sinus pain
  • Minor injuries like a sprained ankle
  • Back pain
  • Cuts or small wounds
  • Small burns
  • Rash or minor allergic reactions
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Urinary tract infections​

Go to an Urgent Care Center when:

  • you need care for non-life threatening conditions 
  • you can’t get in to see your doctor soon enough
  • your doctor's office is closed and you need to see someone that same day
When to Go to the Emergency Room

An emergency is when a person could die or be permanently hurt.  The Emergency Room (ER) provides care for critical or life-threatening conditions. 

Some examples of such conditions include:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Severe chest pain or pressure
  • A sudden, bad headache
  • Suddenly not being able to speak, see, walk or move
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Having thoughts about hurting yourself
  • Seizures (uncontrollable violent spasms)
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Poisoning or drug overdose
  • Severe wounds or broken bones
  • Head injury
  • Eye injury

If you think you have a health emergency, call 911 or go to the ER immediately.