New Law to Prevent Freestanding ER Insurance Surprises
In 2009, Texas became the first state to permit freestanding emergency rooms. These facilities, independent of hospitals, provide acute care 24/7 and ended up spreading quickly across the state. One problem, though: Many of these ERs aren’t within insurance networks, leaving consumers blindsided when they realize they were treated by an out-of-network provider, and now have a massively high bill to pay.
A law signed during the 85th Texas legislative session seeks to help the freestanding centers clarify what is covered by insurance, and what might be considered out of network. The law took effect Sept. 1, 2017, and requires the facilities to post notice of the insurance networks in which they participate, if any. The law indicates that freestanding ERs can comply with the new rules by posting the insurance information on their websites. Written confirmation must also be provided to patients.
For comments, questions or concerns, please contact Amy Sorter