The Doctor Will See You Now: Emergency Care Options Growing
March 5, 2018
Such freestanding emergency centers (FECs) are popping up along busy byways in San Antonio and across the state. Open 24/7, FECs are staffed, equipped, and regulated more like a traditional hospital-based emergency room, and they charge higher rates to reflect that level of care.
Texas’ Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) has licensed a total of 19 FECs in Bexar County, and 215 in the state, up from only 19 statewide in 2010, the year after the Legislature allowed them to be licensed. In fact, Bexar County – population 1.9 million – has more licensed FECs than any other Texas county except Harris – population 4.5 million – which has 34, according to a report by David Kostroun, deputy executive commissioner of HHSC’s Regulatory Services Division.
Also on the rise are what are known as urgent-care centers (UCCs). In San Antonio, there are currently 54 such centers, and more than 7,000 like them across the country.