Good article regarding traditional ER’s and clinics.
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The article, “The Lines Are Blurred Between Freestanding ERs and Urgent Care Centers” by Olivia Nguyen states
“Last November in Frisco, Candie and Dustin Sandlin entered a Legacy ER & Urgent Care center—a walk-in clinic that also operates as a freestanding emergency center—because the couple’s primary-care physician was unavailable. Candie, experiencing symptoms of a migraine headache, was told by the on-site doctor that a CAT scan was needed to rule out any serious diagnoses.
Candie was reluctant, but agreed to the procedure. Afterward, Dustin says the doctor diagnosed his wife with a headache. The Sandlins returned to Legacy ER & Urgent Care five days later, with Candie still in pain. This time, Dustin says, another doctor suggested she may have vertigo, and ran a blood test to confirm the hunch. Once the diagnosis was confirmed, he says, the doctor could only provide “over-the-counter motion-sickness medicine, because the facility did not have medicine to specifically treat vertigo.” The total bill for the two visits? “$7,000,” Dustin says.
When asked by Dustin in a formal complaint why the bill was so high, he says the facility replied it was because Candie had received a CAT scan and a blood test and that these services were categorized as “emergent,” allowing Legacy to charge freestanding ER prices, without verbally notifying the patient. (Emergent care typically is required in case of a threat of grave disability, or an immediate threat to a patient’s life.)
Later, the Sandlins did recall seeing, in fine print, a reference in Candie’s paperwork to the possibility of some services being “emergent,” which for them meant out-of-network insurance care, carrying a higher price tag. For Dustin, though, a bigger question arose: “Why weren’t patients being notified which medical procedures are classified as urgent care—or emergency services—so they knew the difference?” Legacy didn’t return our calls seeking comment.”
To read the entire article, please click here
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