January 9, 2019

Think Fast – 5 Things to Know When You’re Sick and Need Care

at home sick - know your options for careBeing sick isn’t fun for anyone. Other than worrying about getting better as soon as possible, the last things you want to do is spend too much money on getting better or spend too much time away from your bed or couch.

When you’ve exhausted your mother’s advice, and saltines and clear liquids aren’t cutting it anymore, there are treatment options that can save you time and money.

Here are five things to know about your options for the most cost-effective and quality care when you need it most.

1. You don’t have to wait to see a doctor.

Getting a diagnosis and treatment earlier gives your provider the ability to develop a thoughtful plan of care and provides the best opportunity to fight back against the infection.

Have your symptoms lasted longer than two days without improvement? Better understand your symptoms using our online symptom checker.

2. The local pharmacy could be your first (and only) stop.

Seeing a doctor may not always be necessary. When it comes to common viruses, such as a regular cold, even the world’s best doctors can’t give you a prescription to cure your ailment.

Your pharmacist may be able to make recommendations for over-the-counter medications to treat your symptoms for things like common colds and seasonal allergies. A pharmacist can share what the medicine treats and potential side effects.

If you don’t have a local pharmacist, find one at missionhealth.org/pharmacy.

3. The best and first option is to see your doctor.

Unpleasant symptoms associated with common illnesses such as a sinus infection, the flu or a random stomach virus can quickly intensify and result in additional health complications.

But a visit to the emergency room can be less than ideal (and more expensive!) unless you have a life-threatening illness. In these situations, you may want to seek care from a walk-in clinic or complete a visit with a doctor online. Many locations in our community offer extended and weekend hours that don’t require an appointment and won’t rack up additional bills or co-pays.

You may have a primary care doctor. In this case, your primary care provider should be your first option to seek care when you’re not well. Many Mission Health primary care offices often offer same-day appointments.

4. You can get care online.

Many healthcare systems, including Mission Health, offer the convenience of online care. Whether you’re on the go or sick at home, online visits help you skip the trip. Mission Health’s Virtual Clinic affords the convenience of receiving a diagnosis and treatment plan in under one hour between 7 am and 11 pm. Regardless of your insurance (and even if you don’t have insurance), the cost of your online visit is $25.

5. There may be a walk-in clinic near you.

Is it urgent or emergent? For non-life-threatening care, consider a walk-in clinic – these locations offer the high quality care you need and deserve sooner with no appointment necessary. They’re also less expensive than seeking treatment in a hospital emergency room. You’ll find Mission My Care Now’s walk-in care conveniently open early and late as well as on weekends and most holidays.


Finding the right care at the right place and at the right time matters – to you – to your family and to your healthcare provider. Not sure of the best care option for your needs? Let us help you – visit missionhealth.org/getcare.