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Quick Care Options

As you probably know, emergency rooms in the United States are overflowing, and use by our own employees is on the rise. Sometimes those visits are for non-emergent medical needs either because it seems convenient or you are unsure whether it’s an emergency. An emergency room visit is going to be expensive. In addition to a co-pay of $125, there may be additional tests or physician visits that will cost you and the health plan more than a visit in a different medical setting.  

Of course, injury and illness don’t always happen during regular physician office hours, but there are some other options both during the work day for you and after hours for you and family members that might be more convenient and cost a fraction of an emergency room visit. To assist in determining whether a situation requires emergency care and to learn more about other care locations, VUMC has phone and online tools available: 

If you or a family member is experiencing a life-threatening emergency, call 9-1-1 right away.

As part of the VUMC health plan, you have access to a Nurse Advice Line at no cost to you. The Nurse Advice Line is staffed by Aetna registered nurses and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assess whether you may need emergency care, answer your questions and direct you to locations that provide the appropriate level of care. Call 615.875.NRSE to access the Nurse Advice Line.  By contacting the Nurse Advice Line before visiting the emergency room, you are eligible to earn a $20 credit toward your health plan account. While this reduces the costs of an emergency room visit, far greater savings would occur using one of the options below if this is a non-emergency medical need.

Use this online form  to verify that you contacted the Nurse Advice Line before your visit to the emergency room. You must complete and submit the form before you go to the emergency room. 

Once you’ve decided the type of care you need, you can choose the provider. VUMC employees have several options for care.

    • You can visit an in-network walk-in or after-hours urgent care clinic for as little as a $20 office visit copay. Nearly 50 clinics — including retail clinics, such as The Vanderbilt Clinic at Walgreens — are part of the Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network. Most are available 7 days a week, and many are open after traditional business hours. You can visit the VHAN website to find the nearest clinic or text your zip code to 615.908.2273 to have a list of the nearest clinics sent to your phone.
    • If you live or work in Davidson County, Vanderbilt Health OnCall brings a Vanderbilt nurse practitioner to your home, office, or anywhere else 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The service is accepts Aetna Vanderbilt insurance plans, as well as other major plans. Vanderbilt Health OnCall is available to anyone 18 years and older with non-emergent medical conditions, such as a sore throat, fever, cough, earache or minor injury. Download the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play or visit the website to request a visit, and a provider will arrive within two hours of your request. For questions, call 615.241.6000.
    • You can also visit the Faculty/Staff Express Care clinic  in Suite 112 of the Medical Arts Building. The clinic is open weekdays, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. — except on days VUMC observes holidays — and treats minor illnesses, such as cold and flu. If Faculty/Staff Express Care is closed, you can go to the Occupational Health Clinic as a walk-in patient. The Occupational Health Clinic in Suite 640 of the Medical Arts Building treats work-related injuries and illnesses and is open Monday–Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    • You can find a primary care doctor or specialist using the Aetna DocFind website. The site lists providers in the Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network (Tier 1 coverage) and the Aetna National Network (Tier 2 coverage). As a reminder, you will have the greatest plan savings when you use a Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network provider.

When there is an emergency and you’ve taken the time to consider other options for care before visiting the emergency room, you may be eligible for a $20 credit toward your emergency room co-pay via your health account. To do this, you will submit a claim form at before you go to the emergency room. Use this online form to claim your credit. You must complete and submit the form before you go to the emergency room. 

vanderbilt nurse advice line

NOTE: The above list is by no means exhaustive or comprehensive and should not replace medical advice from a physician.