Thursday, June 6, 2013

Detached ER Costs Criticized

The Journal Gazette published an article from Bloomberg News titled: "Detached ER Costs Criticized" highlighting claims that freestanding Emergency Room charges are excessive.
  • The article discussed one patient's bill was nearly $2,000 ($700 out-of-pocket and $1,518 "facility fee") - this is about 5x what the patient would have paid to get similar care elsewhere.
  • The Benefits of Freestanding Emergency Rooms:
    • They offer 24-hour service, short waits along with board certified emergency specialists.
    • They also may be helping out the overcrowded and understaffed hospital Emergency Rooms.
  • The charges that come along with the free-standing ERs are closely related in amount to what you would pay at a hospital because the services are similar.
  • Some states have required free-standing emergency rooms to accept all patients regardless if they can pay or not.  
  • One individual quoted in the article said: "Many are glorified urgent-care centers, but they still bill ER charges."
  • These unattached ERs as well as urgent-care centers will transfer patients to hospitals if they require more care than they can handle.  
  • According to the article, expenses in a stand-alone ER are more than 10 times what the patient would pay if they went to a doctor's office or an urgent-care.
To view and download the full article, please click the following link: Detached ER Costs Criticized

For additional billing, coding, and reimbursement resources, please click the following link  Medical Reimbursement, Inc. Resources Page.

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