Frequent reports from members who get stuck with surprise bills after visiting a freestanding emergency room have moved the Texas AARP to issue a warning to its members: Make sure you understand the type of facility you’re visiting, and verify what the cost of your care is likely to be, before you receive care. The problem, the organization says, is that many people walk into a freestanding ED thinking it’s actually an urgent care center—with typical urgent care pricing and insurance arrangements. Then they get stuck with a bill that is several times larger than what they expected. Given that freestanding EDs continue to grow at a fairly rapid pace, urgent care operators in areas with a high number of them should make their prices crystal clear and specify what insurance plans are accepted in explicit detail in order to reassure patients that they’re unlikely to get any unpleasant surprises after they get the care they need.
Texas AARP Raises the Alarm on Freestanding ER Costs vs Urgent Care Centers