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Best Free Standing ER and Their Benefits

Difference Between Freestanding ER and Hospital Rooms

A Freestanding ER has all the benefits of a hospital-based emergency room Both Freestanding ERS and hospital-based emergency rooms provide high-quality care and make use of high-quality technology. Both are also able to treat the same kinds of emergency conditions. Both also operate 24 hours a day and are sensitive to patients’ financial concerns. This is a fact because there is an existing law that requires Freestanding ERS facilities to be open 24 hours a day, to always have doctors on site, and to provide everyone with a medical screening regardless of their ability to pay. And so, when comparing a Freestanding ERS and hospital emergency rooms, you can be assured that they are relatively similar, as they can provide the same benefits to patients from doctors to the facilities, to the technology, and to the quality of care. So what then is the difference between freestanding emergency room and a hospital emergency room

Key Differences Between Freestanding ER and Hospital Rooms

There is only one simple difference, and it is this: the Freestanding emergency room is not physically attached to a hospital, the way hospital emergency room is. This difference, albeit a simple one, has consequences that provide several benefits that are considered to be significant and critical to patients. One significant repercussion of not having a hospital attached to the emergency room is the immediacy of care that it can provide. This is because hospital emergency rooms are number one, situated in only specific areas of a city, which means that it can sometimes be out of the way and very far from a patient’s home; and number two, hospital emergency rooms are inevitably populated by a lot of patients, and thus the care that they can provide for life-threatening conditions may be delayed. Freestanding emergency room, on the other hand, is situated in areas that are accessible. There are freestanding emergency rooms located near shopping centers, which makes it much easier to visit for a lot of people. Plus, they are also able to provide speedier care, since they have no long lines, unlike traditional hospital emergency rooms.

myth about free Standing Emergency Rooms

Everyone hopes they will never have to visit an emergency room. However, accidents and severe illnesses can happen at a moment’s notice, which is why emergency rooms exist. When a sudden injury or illness occurs to you, a friend, or a family member, you may hesitate to go to a freestanding ER because of common myths and misconceptions. For that reason, we’ve debunked these common myths about freestanding emergency rooms.

5 Common myths about free Standing Emergency Rooms

They are not real emergency rooms

The fact is that The Texas Department of State Health Services enforces obvious licensing rules to ensure that freestanding emergency rooms provide the same level of service and meet the same standards as hospital ERs. Like hospitals, freestanding ERs are required to have an emergency trained physician and registered nurse onsite at all times, must be open 24/7, 365 days a year, and must have the clinical equipment necessary to diagnose and treat emergencies quickly.

Balance bills

Based on patient satisfaction surveys and reviews, the vast majority of freestanding ER patients are well informed about the facility’s billing practices and have no complaints about their bills. However, when patients do get hit with unexpected out-of-pocket expenses, there are two primary causes: predatory underpayment by health insurers and confusion on the part of patients regarding the specifics of their benefit plans.

Insurance Companies Law Requirements

Texas law requires insurance companies to reimburse health care providers at the “usual and customary rate” for emergency care. But because there is no definition of the term “usual and customary” nor uniform guidelines for insurance companies to follow, insurers have determined their arbitrary rates and unilaterally declared them to be “usual and customary.” While some insurers provide adequate reimbursement for services, others are reimbursing at a much lower percentage. This leaves freestanding ERs with few options. They can either accept the low reimbursement rate, appeal to the Texas Department of Insurance, or collect the remaining balance from the patient.

Selection of patients

Freestanding ERs provide critical access to care for any patient that walks through their door, regardless of insurance or ability to pay. This includes Medicare, Medicaid, and uninsured patients. Just like a hospital-based ER, freestanding ERs are legally required to administer medical screenings and stabilize all patients at their facility. Freestanding ERs provide millions of dollars in uncompensated care annually, serving as an essential resource to their local communities.

Misleading Price

Freestanding ERs provide high-quality emergency care for medical emergencies. Furthermore, the Texas Legislature created clear guidelines for freestanding ER operators and comprehensive regulations to ensure freestanding ERs offer the same levels of service as hospital-based ERs. Each freestanding emergency room facility has both external and internal signage prominently displaying the word “Emergency,” postings outlining the available levels of services, and billing disclosures that patients are required to sign acknowledging they are in an emergency room setting. It is also important to note that only licensed emergency care facilities are allowed to use the word “emergency” in their name or marketing material.

Increased cost:

According to a 2010 University of Michigan study, the average cost of an admitted patient is $35,000 per case. Preliminary research suggests that freestanding ERs may help to reduce inpatient admission rates. By treating patients in a freestanding ER setting and transferring only patients in need of inpatient care, freestanding ERs can improve overall efficiency and help save on health care costs. Freestanding ERs have no financial incentive to push patients into hospital admissions, and so can serve as unbiased gateways into the healthcare system.

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Free Standing ER Taking Medicare and Medicaid

Every time you visit a doctor, hospital, or emergency room you’re always asked to complete long forms with all your health insurance information. This information is then filed with a copy of your health insurance card. But do you know what happens next? Your health insurance plan includes benefits for emergency room visits. In fact, the state of Texas requires that your insurance provider cover your visit to an emergency room of your choice. When you’re experiencing a medical emergency, the decision of where to seek care is entirely in your control. Your health insurance company must honor out of network benefits for your ER visit.

When you complete the admission paperwork for the emergency room, you will be asked to pay your insurance policy’s co-pay or your estimated co-insurance at the time of your visit. Ask your admission’s clerk about the billing options offered by the emergency room you are visiting. Some emergency rooms, like advanced emergency room honor in-network billing, even if they are not a part of your health insurance’s coverage network. Knowing these details can help you work to reduce the total claim made to your insurance company. The ER billing process starts as soon as you leave the emergency room. You will receive an Explanation of Benefits or EOB in the mail. This required document lists the services you were provided during your ER visit and the associated costs. The Explanation of Benefits is not a bill. This document is used by your emergency room’s billing department to generate the claim for your insurance company. If your insurance company determines you owe more than the amount already paid for services, they will make you aware of your financial obligation. Emergency room departments that are attached to hospitals rely on the services of the facility to treat emergency room patients. When you visit a traditional ER department your insurance will be billed from the facility and the physician. You will also be charged by each separate department that treated you: the pharmacy, x-ray, ultrasound or others. Most hospital departments are different legal entities that operate in one building. Therefore they must bill separately. Standalone emergency rooms eliminate the problem of multiple claims for your ER visit. Most standalone emergency rooms bill your insurance company for any services from medical imaging or other departments as a part of the facility bill. The physician still makes a separate claim, resulting in only 2 claims for your visit. By combining billing, standalone emergency rooms help expedite the processing of your claim. Will Freestanding ERs Take Medicare and Medicaid? When you or a loved one is suffering a medical emergency, the last thing on your mind is how the bill is going to be handled. That’s why it’s important to do your research ahead of time and know of your options. The first thing to understand is that free-standing emergency centers like Golden Triangle Emergency Center cannot accept Medicare or Medicaid because the state does not allow them to, this is not a facility choice. However, patients experiencing life-threatening, emergency health crises will not be turned away regardless of their ability to pay. Let’s take a look at why this is the case, what other payment options exist, and some of the significant benefits offered by free-standing emergency centers. Under federal law, free-standing emergency centers cannot accept Medicare or Medicaid because they are not a part of a hospital system. As a result, Golden Triangle Emergency Center and other free-standing emergency centers are not legally able to accept Medicare or Medicaid. Can Freestanding Emergency Rooms Treat Heart Attacks and Strokes? Most freestanding emergency rooms can treat heart attacks, broken bones, strokes and other medical emergencies just like emergency rooms in hospitals. Feel free to call your nearby ER or urgent care with questions beforehand, which saves you from going back and forth during a medical emergency. Top 10 Benefits of a Freestanding Emergency Room Near Me There are numerous benefits of freestanding emergency room, some of the most crucial benefits include: All round service: Most, if not all, freestanding emergency rooms are typically open 24/7 or at least have extended operational hours, similarly to a hospital-based emergency department. Like mentioned before, many freestanding emergency rooms are located conveniently near towns so that you have better access to emergency care; if a freestanding ER is also open 24/7, then that means that you can have access to emergency care, including emergency physicians, nurses, lab and radiology technicians, as well as testing and advanced imaging—any time you need it Proximity: Receiving emergency care closer to home means that if you are more likely to be discharged home, and not forced to stay overnight unnecessarily. In fact, did you know that nearly 75-85% of patients are discharged home from a freestanding ER? With freestanding ERs, there are very few instances in which patients need to be admitted to a hospital. In exceptional cases in which a patient will need hospital admission for their condition, freestanding ERs will often help send you to the right hospital fit for your needs, not just a hospital that’s nearby. Quality Care: Contrary to popular belief, freestanding emergency rooms have the right state-of-the-art equipment that allows them to achieve the same level of quality care that hospital emergency departments offer, even for the most serious of ailments and conditions, such as heart attacks and stroke. It’s for this reason that many patients never hesitate to visit a freestanding ER in the midst of a medical emergency Faster service: No one wants to spend their entire day at their local ER. But statistics show the average person waits anywhere from two to six hours at a hospital. This can be agonizing when you or your loved one is experiencing pain. Freestanding emergency rooms, you get fast service without sacrificing the quality of your medical care. Germ-Free zone: it is uncomfortable to be in an overcrowded hospital ER with patients who may have a contagious condition. At Advance ER, you don’t have to wait with dozens of other people. Our comfortable waiting area is roomy and clean. Within minutes, you will be shown to a private exam room that is free of germs and ready for you Expertise: During an emergency, many choose to go to the hospital because they feel they will get better service. However, it is a good idea to compare hospital ERs to freestanding ERs which often have similar expert physicians and services. Excellent facilities: Freestanding Emergency room offers good services because they have one of the best facilities to treat various emergencies. Pricing: Freestanding emergency room offers reasonable pricing for various emergency treatments. Fair treatment Freestanding Emergency room offers appropriate treatment to all types of patients, without discrimination. Standard emergency room: Freestanding Emergency rooms can offer conventional emergency treatments to various types of the emergency situation without compromising the quality of treatments. During emergency situation and after a fatal accident, the most important priority is getting the nearest quality care possible, Don’t discriminate against the freestanding emergency room, due to the wrong myths about it, taking a patient to the nearest freestanding emergency room could save a life. Safe a life now. References Berger, E. (2011). Freestanding Emergency Departments. Annals of Emergency Medicine, 57(1), pp.A22-A24. Krome, R. (1983). Freestanding emergency physicians. Annals of Emergency Medicine, 12(3), pp.188-189. Mitchell, G. (1983). Licensing of freestanding emergency facilities. Annals of Emergency Medicine, 12(11), p.722. Schaffer, D. (1984). A survey of Washington state freestanding emergency centers. Annals of Emergency Medicine, 13(4), pp.259-262. ZIMMERMAN, D. and APPLEBAUM, D. (1992). Quality of pediatric care at a freestanding emergency facility. Pediatric Emergency Care, 8(5), pp.265-267.