Texans are being misled and taken advantage of financially in one of the most vulnerable situations — a medical emergency. In an emergency, patients often must rush to the nearest ER. They usually have no ability to pick the doctors who treat them and do not know if those doctors are in their health plan's network. It is nearly impossible for Texans to stay in-network for every service they receive in an emergency, even when they make sure they go to the right hospital. As it stands, 1 in 3 admissions to a Texas emergency room results in a patient receiving an expensive surprise medical bill.
Surprise Bills are Bankrupting Texans
Despite their best efforts, thousands of Texans are getting slammed with expensive and unexpected surprise medical bills, often for thousands of dollars. These surprise medical bills are expensive and growing, driving up health care costs for all Texans.
Freestanding ERs are a relatively new, lucrative business model that is leaving patients with the sticker shock from outlandishly expensive medical bills. They use confusing advertising to intentionally mislead patients into believing they accept their insurance plans for full payment, but in reality, they choose to stay out of network to charge higher prices. Patients often get slapped with a bill that can be 20x what an urgent care center would charge for the same services. In Texas, freestanding ERs are responsible for over 83% of all ER out-of-network facility services, leaving patients stuck with thousands of expensive surprise medical bills.