As we discussed in our previous blog, freestanding emergency centers (FECs) are a convenient option for patients in need of quality emergency care. Unfortunately, insurance companies tend to be unsupportive of these facilities, and they work to actively deter patients from utilizing them when the need arises. In this article, we will discuss the misguided reasons health insurance companies are working so hard to keep patients away from FECs, learn how these actions harm patients, and present a possible solution to the problems created by insurance companies’ lack of support for these independent emergency care centers.
In recent years, the number of freestanding emergency centers (FECs) has grown as patients in the U.S. healthcare system have made a simple request: they want immediate access to emergency healthcare when the need arises. With shorter wait times than hospital emergency rooms (ERs), 24/7 access to care, and ER-trained physicians on staff at all times, FECs are specifically designed to meet this need. Despite high rates of patient satisfaction1, insurance companies are funding campaigns against FECs and penalizing patients who receive treatment from these facilities. They are even going so far as to contact patients directly to discourage them from seeking care from FECs. Why are they doing this, and is this negative image of FECs fair? To help you understand your options, this article will discuss the differences between emergency healthcare models and dispel some of the myths surrounding FECs.
The business of medicine in 2018 is more difficult and complex than ever before. Political trends and policy changes have left the state of health coverage in flux, directly affecting healthcare on all levels and creating wide-reaching uncertainty across all patient populations. In today’s healthcare world, managed care groups can change the rules of engagement, and health insurance carriers annually lock medical professionals into opaque agreements that make doctors reconsider their independence. With continued policy changes likely, you can expect a major reshaping of the ways both consumers and providers will be able to obtain and utilize insurance. This blog post explores a few strategies your practice can implement to ensure maintenance of clinic revenue and quality coverage for your patients.