Out-of-network Freestanding Emergency Rooms (FSERs) can be 10x more expensive than urgent care centers and 2x more expensive than in-network hospital ERs.
FSERs look like urgent care centers and set up shop in the same kind of residential commercial areas, but charge way more than an urgent care for urgent-care services. When they tell Texans they “accept your insurance,” that does not mean the same thing as “in your network.”
It’s a lucrative business model that benefits them financially to stay out of network. Patients that go to in-network facilities and providers are protected from high prices, over-billing and surprise billing. Out-of-network FSER patiences are not.
Patients are NOT protected from over-billing, over-charging, high prices and surprise billing at FSERs. This can mean a mountain of medical debt for Texans who visit a FSER for a common cold or similar non-emergency condition.
In emergencies where patients do not pick their provider or patients are misled about a provider’s network status, care is in many cases followed by expensive and surprise medical bills, often for thousands of dollars. Texas is ground zero for this problem. One in three admissions to a Texas emergency room results in a surprise medical bill, substantially higher than the rest of the nation. These surprise medical bills are expensive and their prices are growing, driving up health care costs for all Texans.
Over the past decade, Texas leaders have taken steps to protect patients from surprise medical bills and Freestanding ERs, but problems remain. Patients should never be financially penalized with expensive, unexpected medical bills when they receive care from an out-of-network provider they did not choose or when providers mislead them. Join us today in the effort to remove patients from payment disputes that are not their fault by ending surprise billing in Texas once and for all.