Skip to main content

Emergency and urgent care 

When you get sick or injured, you may not know where to go for help first. Learn when to go to the emergency room and when to go to urgent care. It can save you time and money.

Not yet a member?

Learn about becoming a member in Mercy Care Medicaid plans or Mercy Care Advantage.

Is it an emergency?

Is it an emergency?

An emergency is life-threatening. Is your life or someone else’s life in danger? Call 911 right away or go to the closest ER. You don't need approval from your plan to go.

Here are some examples to help you decide:

  • Flu
  • Cold
  • Sore throat
  • Earache
  • Prescription refill or request
  • Back strain

  • Poisoning or overdose
  • Severe chest pain or heart attack
  • No movement in your arms or legs
  • Bleeding that you can’t stop
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Deep cuts or serious burns
  • Pregnancy with severe bleeding or pain
  • Broken bones
  • Car accidents

Go to the ER for emergencies, not time savings

If you go to the ER because you think they’ll see you more quickly, you’ll most likely have to wait. In the ER, anything except a real emergency has to wait, even if you were there first.  

Is it urgent? 

Is it urgent? 

You may have an urgent medical problem that’s not an emergency. Urgent health needs may be things like:

  • Flu
  • Bad sore throats
  • Earaches
  • Back pain
  • Migraine headaches
  • Sprains

Here are some places you can find care at all times of day or night:  

  • Health care clinics
  • Community health centers
  • Urgent care facilities

Not sure where to go? Find a provider. Under “Specialty,” search for “urgent care.”

Still not sure what to do?

Call your PCP, even if they’re not open. The answering service will give your doctor the message. Someone will call you back and tell you what to do. Make sure your phone can receive calls or you may miss them.

If you get sick or have an accident, call your doctor first. Can’t get an appointment that day? You may still get care at a clinic or urgent care. 


Crisis services

Are you or a loved one in a behavioral health crisis? This is when you think you might hurt yourself or someone else. Or you’re feeling overwhelmed and find it hard to cope with stress. You can call the Arizona behavioral health crisis line at 1-844-534-HOPE (1-844-534-4673). You can also text HOPE to 4HOPE (44673). Or visit our crisis services page to learn more.