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Understanding Care Options
It’s easy to think “Call 911” for heart attack, stroke or serious fall, burn or broken bone to get immediate help and transport to the nearest emergency department. Some accidents and incidents don’t feel like an emergency, but they can’t wait for the next available appointment in the doctor’s office either.
Here is a guide to accessing care where and when you need it:
Your established primary doctor or nurse practitioner is the best place to start when you're sick or hurt. They know your history including chronic conditions, prescriptions and past illnesses. St. Tammany Physicians Network offices have evening and weekend hours to accommodate busy schedules and convenient locations in Covington, Mandeville, Madisonville and Folsom. You probably already have insurance and payment preferences on file, so this may be the least expensive, easiest answer. But if your primary care provider is closed, you may need urgent or emergency care.
Urgent care is staffed and equipped for diagnosis, testing and treatment. If your primary care office isn’t available and your need is not an emergency, urgent care is a reliable resource when you’re sick or hurt. In the STPH-Ochsner partnership, OHS has urgent care available after hours, including evenings and weekends in Mandeville, Covington and Hammond. Urgent care is usually more expensive than primary care but less expensive than an emergency room, and it is very convenient.
If you are experiencing life-threatening symptoms or conditions, the emergency department is best. It is open 24 hours, seven days a week, every day of the year, even holidays. They have the widest range of services for emergency after-hours care, including heart attack and stroke care, diagnostic testing and access to specialists. That specialized care also makes it the most expensive type of care. And if what you are experiencing isn’t life-threatening, you are likely to wait to be seen. St. Tammany Parish Hospital offers two emergency departments in the service district. One is part of the main hospital facility at 1202 S. Tyler St., Covington, and the other is an off-site emergency department at 2929 Hwy. 190, Mandeville. Both of these facilities are staffed and equipped to handle even the most alarming emergency needs. This means you should only seek care in these types of facilities when you are experiencing severe symptoms or a life-threatening emergency. Having these types of resources at-the-ready in both locations saves lives and improves healthcare in our service district, but it also means care in these facilities is the most expensive means of seeking healthcare.