Freestanding ERs are a relatively new, lucrative business model that may only need to see 12 patients a day to turn a profit, and Texas is ground zero. More than 200 freestanding ERs call Texas home – that’s more than half of the nation’s total population of freestanding ERs.
Freestanding ERs (FSERs) largely choose to remain out-of-network for most health insurance plans in Texas. FSERs use confusing advertising to intentionally mislead patients into believing they accept their insurance plans for full payment, but in reality, they choose not to be in network with most insurance plans in order to charge higher prices. This means insured patients will often get slapped with a bill that can be 10x what an urgent care center would charge for the same services – and it’s not covered by your insurance.
- Educate Texans with accurate information: Increase cost transparency and network status at freestanding ERs.
- Expand surprise billing protections for consumers to all freestanding ERs.
- Hold bad actors accountable for exploiting patients through misleading advertising and exorbitant pricing.