Freestanding emergency rooms play an important role in the healthcare system and help millions of Americans get the care they need, quickly. However, they aren’t identical to traditional hospital-based emergency rooms and some patients may have some misconceptions about the way they work. Unfortunately these misconceptions can interfere with patients getting the quality care that they need or may simply set the patient up for frustration. GTEC will be hosting an open-house event on Monday, January 9th from 8:00am to 8:00pm at their Orange facility in which we will be addressing some common misconceptions about freestanding emergency rooms. In the meantime, in this article let’s take a look at three of the most pervasive ones.
Misconception: Patients Are Treated on a First-Come, First-Serve Basis
This misconception isn’t specific to freestanding emergency rooms, but rather tends to apply to traditional ERs as well. People often wrongly assume that emergency room treatment will be performed much like the other services they are familiar with: on a first-come, first serve basis in which the person who arrives first is treated first. However, that is not the case with freestanding or traditional emergency rooms. Instead, ERs use what is known as the triage system.
The triage system involves evaluating the patient’s injury or illness to determine how severe it is and how urgently that patient needs care. Thus, someone who comes in complaining about symptoms that could indicate a heart attack is likely to be treated by someone who is waiting to be treated for nausea or headache. Likewise a gunshot victim will likely be seen ahead of a patient with a sprained leg. This is regardless of what order the patients entered the facility in.
The triage system can be frustrating for patients who have been waiting a long time for treatment for a relatively less serious injury or illness, but it is an extremely valuable tool that saves countless lives. Fortunately, patients at freestanding emergency rooms like GTEC will benefit from much shorter wait times and a more comfortable environment than at traditional ERs.
Misconception: Patients Can Use Medicare or Medicaid to Pay for Treatment
Patients of freestanding emergency rooms often assume that they can use Medicare or Medicaid to pay for the treatment, just like they would be able to at a traditional hospital-based ER. However, unfortunately this is not correct. Under federal law freestanding emergency rooms are not able to accept Medicare or Medicaid because they are not a part of a hospital system. For more information about this topic please see our article on Why Freestanding Emergency Rooms Cannot Accept Medicare and Medicaid.
However, rest assured that freestanding emergency rooms like GTEC make it as convenient as possible to pay for treatment. We accept all private health insurance plans as well as Tricare. We also have payment plans available and convenient bill pay options like online payments and the ability to accept credit and debit cards.
If you are having a medical emergency you can still come to Golden Triangle Emergency Center no matter what insurance you have.
Misconception: If I Need to be Transferred to a Hospital I’ll Have to Wait Again
Some emergency room trips may result in the patient requiring admission into the hospital. This may occur because the patient needs surgery and extensive treatment or simply an extended stay for observation. Many patients assume that since freestanding emergency rooms aren’t connected to a hospital, if they require hospitalization they will be have to wait a second time in the hospital’s ER to be admitted.
Fortunately this is not the case. Freestanding emergency rooms have the ability to observe patients for up to 23 hours and 59 minutes before having to transfer them to a hospital. Freestanding emergency rooms are often able to get patients admitted directly to the hospital quickly and conveniently, without the need to wait a second time.
Golden Triangle Emergency Center to Host an Open-House
Golden Triangle Emergency Center is committed to providing outstanding care and to informing area residents about their medical options. To better serve the community we will be hosting an open-house event on Monday, January 9th between the hours of 8:00am and 8:00pm at the Orange facility at which time we will address additional misconceptions about freestanding emergency rooms and also provide tours of our facilities. Visitors can also look forward to gifts and prizes. Please come out and visit us! We are located at 3107 Edgar Brown Dr Orange Texas 77630.
Golden Triangle Emergency Center’s goal is always to provide the resources, including health information our community needs to stay safe and healthy. However, when sickness or injuries do strike, Golden Triangle Emergency Center is there 24/7, 365 days a year with our gold standard in emergency and industrial care.
Nutex Health, Inc supports you and your family’s health. You can depend on Golden Triangle Emergency Center or any one of our concierge-level, freestanding emergency facilities to deliver the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.