/* */
Upload Photos Refer a PRO

Business Owners & Managers

Universal Tips to Save Money on Emergency Care for Yourself and Employees

By Brad Behr from Copper Creek Cuts

Maybe it has happened to you yet, maybe it hasn't. Ripping off a fingernail from starting the trimmer at an awkward angle, catching a huge chunk of sawdust in the eye as it filters down from the branch you are pruning.

Or maybe after your marathon session on the overgrown property your arms and hands have a very peculiar tingling sensation that is just not normal.

None of the previous examples are meant to scare, intimidate, or impress. Simply to state that while there are relatively few ways to cut a lawn, there are almost innumerable ways to get injured while carrying out that profession.

If something DOES happen, and you deem it needs immediate care (rather than wrapping it up in a strip of burlap and pouring rubbing alcohol on it, because you still have 12 yards on the list, after all!), here are a few universal tips that will help you save money, regardless of your insurance situation.

Low Grade Illness? Convenient Care Centers May Be For You. Cost: $

If you have a slight cough, tickle in the throat, or some other illness keeping you from 100%, then visiting a clinic embedded in a Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, or Rite Aid may be for you.

They generally keep normal business hours opening between 8am and 10am and closing in the early evening.

They can treat small cuts (which I doubt any of you would even go in for), but the more important services for folks in our industry are things like strep tests, examining symptoms for bronchitis or other respiratory issues, earaches, allergies, and flu.

The important thing to remember is that these centers are going to work best for you if you head in as soon as issues arise, rather than waiting it out for a week or two while your situation deteriorates.

While the list of services they treat are extensive, if the injury or illness is moderate or severe they most likely will refer you out for further care. So if you have cuts requiring stitches or very severe respiratory issues, then you most likely should skip this step.

Persistent Illness or More Serious Injury? Check out Urgent Care Centers. Cost: $$-$$$

Using myself as an example, I had an incident with a barbeque three weeks ago that has left me with a persistent, dry, hacking cough.

Finally I had enough, but knew my condition was beyond the scope of a Convenient Care Center, so drove an hour to a top of the line Urgent Care center in Jacksonville, FL.

They were able to examine me, get a chest x-ray, diagnose Acute Chemical Bronchitis, and write/call in the scripts I needed to my pharmacy. All in the one building, all in the one visit, and all in just around an hour and a half on a Saturday morning.

The Urgent Care center I went to (Crucial Care) has a full suite of imaging equipment onsite, from X-Rays, Cat Scans, to MRI machines. They can handle severe injuries and illness, and offer many of the services of an ER.

This is one of the only local non-ER facilities that will administer an IV, for instance, in the case of extreme dehydration. Many other facilities will kick you to the nearest ER if anything like that is needed.

Urgent Care centers will have different levels of service depending on what is local, so make sure you research NOW, while you are healthy. In an emergency, knowing what your local Urgent Care center can and will handle may save you time, money, and frustration.

While Urgent Care centers are more expensive than Convenient Care centers, they almost always offer more services, can treat more severe injuries/illnesses, and can often be a one-stop shop rather than a Convenient Care which may refer you out.

The most important thing to do, though, is research NOW what Urgent Care centers are near you and what services they offer. Call them up and ask them if one of your guys got dehydrated what they would do for them. What if they lost a finger to a hedge trimmer? What if they have exposure after plowing sidewalks for 6 hours in the morning?

Planning now may prevent you from having to rely on the most expensive option.

Emergency Room. Cost: $$$$-$$$$$

Almost universally attached to or associated with a larger Hospital system, ER's are your last resort, your be all and end all when it comes to getting taken care of now. This will always be the most expensive option but does generally offer the most services and level of care.

Many specialists are usually on hand, and if you need ambulance transport, this is most likely where they will take you.

The Bottom Line

If you take away just one thing from this article, here it is: The majority of folks in this industry are (in my opinion) NOT going to take advantage of Convenient Care centers when illness immediately present.

Instead, we're going to tough it out, hoping it gets better on its own, since we have work to do. That means in all likelihood, when you do need care, it will be at a level only an Urgent Care or ER can provide it.

That being said you simply MUST research NOW what Urgent Care centers are nearby, what insurances they accept, and what services they handle.

That way when an issue does present itself you have the knowledge needed to make a quick decision that can save you, your employees, or your business time and money.

Stay safe!

Note about the Author: Prior to a career in Lawn Care, Brad worked for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida (Florida Blue) for 11 years in a variety of roles spanning from customer service, claims administration, and sales.

Brad Behr
Copper Creek Cuts
UAG Member 2018

How do you care for yourself, or prepare for something happening on the job? Join our forum to share your own experience and ask other pros for theirs.