Making smart choices about how and when you seek care will help manage health care costs for you and your family. Here's a rundown on the medical care options available to you—and guidance on which ones to use when.
Everyday medical advice
Forming a relationship with a primary care provider is important, but a telehealth service or convenience care clinic can treat everyday health care issues—at any time, from anywhere—saving you time and money.
Telehealth allows you to speak by phone or video with a board-certified doctor 24/7 for a diagnosis on minor short-term issues such as allergies, migraines, pink eye, fever, or the flu. Important: The university's medical plans will cover telehealth visits via their apps at 100% through the end of 2021. Telehealth visits with your own provider will be subject to your normal cost sharing. See details below on how to access the video visit app for your insurance provider.
CareFirst members can access CareFirst Video Visit by going to carefirstvideovisit.com and creating an account (which is different from your CareFirst account). Enter your insurance information from your CareFirst ID card when prompted. CareFirst Video Visit is also available as an app for your smartphone. Learn more from the CareFirst Video Visit FAQ.
EHP recently introduced Johns Hopkins OnDemand Virtual Care, a 24/7 service provided through Teladoc. EHP members may receive care from either a Johns Hopkins Medicine or Teladoc provider, depending on availability and the state where the patient is currently located. To connect with a provider:
- Download the Johns Hopkins OnDemand app from the Apple App or Google Play store, or use your computer by going to ondemand.hopkinsmedicine.org.
- Create an account and add yourself and/or your minor dependents as patient(s). You will be asked to enter your medications, allergies, and brief medical history.
- Then click on Request a Visit.
- Confirm the patient, your location, and the type of visit needed.
- Next, enter/confirm your pharmacy.
- Once you confirm your information, you will be placed in the virtual waiting room and notified when a provider is available to see you. The average wait time is about 10 minutes.
Kaiser Permanente members must register at healthy.kaiserpermanente.org to get started using telehealth services.
A convenience care clinic, such as a CVS MinuteClinic, Walgreens Healthcare Clinic, or Target Clinic, is the next option. These offer extended evening and weekend hours and can assist with minor concerns such as colds, ear infections, and vaccinations.
Your primary care doctor maintains your health records, conducts preventive screenings such as your annual physical, and is your main point of contact when bigger health issues arise.
Serious medical conditions
In the case of a life-threatening emergency, head to the nearest emergency room or call 911 immediately. Otherwise, when your doctor's office is closed, your local urgent care facility can treat nonemergency illnesses or injuries, without an appointment and at a fraction of the cost.
Urgent care facilities provide unscheduled, non-life-threatening medical services outside of doctors' regular business hours and are well equipped to treat sprains, broken bones, wounds in need of stitches, minor burns, and unexpected illness such as a sore throat. The in-network urgent care co-pay for the CareFirst PPO, EHP, and Kaiser Permanente medical plans is $50.
An emergency room is the place to go for all emergency conditions, such as signs of heart attack or stroke, trouble breathing or persistent chest pain, uncontrolled bleeding, head trauma, and major burns. The emergency room facility co-pay for the CareFirst PPO, EHP, and Kaiser Permanente medical plans is $100, which will be waived if the patient is admitted. Additional physician and other charges will apply.
Send results to home base—always
Your primary care provider is your health care "home base." The next time you're at an urgent care facility or seeing a specialist, make sure you have your visit record forwarded to your primary care doctor. This step will help keep your PCP informed when you're receiving care elsewhere and can improve coordination of additional care if needed.