How much could you pay for a medical emergency or urgency?
March 29, 2019
With surprise billing, medical care costs skyrocketing, and confusion increasing on where to go for what medical need, knowing your health insurance benefits before the emergency or urgency arrives could save you a lot of time and money.
“Texas MedClinic was founded in 1982 on the belief that quality urgent care should be not only convenient but also affordable,” said Dr. David Gude. “There’s no need to drive up emergency care costs for urgent ailments like fever, flu, ear infections, allergies, or digestive issues like diarrhea.”
The San Antonio Express-News recently reported on how free-standing emergency rooms code and charge for care.
“Patients often walk into a freestanding emergency room believing that it’s an urgent care clinic,” said Gude. “They present with a sore throat, fever, flu, or allergies, and the emergency center treats the patient as if they are in a hospital-based emergency room. The cost far exceeds the benefit. It’s deceiving to the patient,” said Gude.
Gude adds that all of the physicians and providers at Texas MedClinic are in-network for all insurance carriers for which Texas MedClinic is in-network. “There are no surprise bills from our doctors,” said Gude.
Where do you go for urgent or emergency care
Learn more about the differences between an urgent care center, freestanding emergency room and a hospital-based emergency room in our article “Don’t go to a freestanding ER if you have the flu; it could cost you $2,000“.
Know your health care insurance policy and benefits
Gude advises people to talk with their health insurance providers on where to go for urgent and emergent care before you need the medical attention.
“Health insurance providers are able to guide their clients on the cost-for-care issues,” said Gude. “They are not asking people to be a doctor, what they are asking them to do is use common sense. At Texas MedClinic, we often say ‘if you need to call an ambulance, you need an emergency room where there is specialty care and doctors.’ Heart attack, stroke, severe falls, and drowning. These are emergencies that require a highly-trained team of physicians and staff to care for the patient.”
Health insurance companies often offer guides on how to choose between an urgent care clinic and emergency room.
Texas MedClinic was established in 1982 by Dr. Bernard T. Swift, Jr., as a group medical practice that specializes in urgent care and occupational medicine. Texas MedClinic has grown to 13 locations in San Antonio, two in New Braunfels, one in Spring Branch, two in Austin and one in Round Rock. Texas MedClinic is staffed with 82 medical providers including physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners and over 450 employees.12