What is a free-standing emergency room?

As of September 2010, the State of Texas requires that all free-standing emergency rooms have a license to operate. A licensed, free-standing emergency room is a facility that is opened to the public 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for the treatment of major and minor emergent medical conditions. The free-standing emergency room must be staffed with experienced emergency medicine physicians onsite 24 hours a day and registered nurses (RN). Additionally, a licensed, free-standing emergency room has the same diagnostic equipment that a hospital-based ER does. In other words, when you visit a licensed, free-standing emergency room, you’ll receive all the same care and services that you would at a traditional hospital-based emergency room, the facility just isn’t located on a hospital campus.

When should I visit a licensed, free-standing emergency room?

As a licensed, free-standing emergency room, Texas Emergency Care Center is different than an urgent care facility. Urgent care centers aren’t licensed, are not required to be open 24 hours a day and are not able to treat emergent medical conditions. As a rule of thumb, you could consider an urgent care center as a regular doctors office with extended hours.

If you have a medical condition that requires immediate attention, whether it’s minor or major, you can go to an emergency room. When you make the decision about what ER to visit, keep in mind that the national average wait time for hospital-based emergency rooms is fifty five minutes*. As a licensed, free-standing emergency room, Texas Emergency Care Center is capable of treating all the same conditions as a hospital-based emergency room, and the average wait time at our facilities is less than 20 minutes.

Examples of medical conditions we treat:

  • Sports injuries
  • Heart attacks
  • Strokes
  • Respiratory distress
  • Head injuries
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dehydration
  • Orthopedic injuries (fractures)
  • Lacerations

*Based on 2012 CDC Report

What if I have to be admitted to the hospital?

Texas Emergency Care Center has transfer agreements in place with multiple hospitals in the greater Houston metropolitan area. We’ll coordinate admittance to a hospital should further monitoring or care be required as part of your treatment.

What am I required to pay?

At the time of service, you will be required to pay your emergency room co-pay as designated by your insurance plan. As with any visit to an emergency room, upon receipt of your explanation of benefits (EOB) from the insurance carrier, you may also be required to pay your deductible or any co-insurance that is determined to be patient responsibility by your insurance provider.

What if I don’t have insurance?

We have the responsibility to treat any patient that has been determined to have a medical emergency regardless of their ability to pay at the time of the visit. We work with all of our patients on flexible payment options and have a Rapid Pay Program for patients who prefer to pay on a cash basis.