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Freestanding ERs Charging Excessive Bills for Services That Have Been Free, Low-Cost

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The Texas Association of Health Plans (TAHP) writes of exorbitant bills from freestanding emergency rooms (FSERs) in Texas, including charges of more than $10,000 for services that should have been free or low-cost. Lawmakers are attempting to halt these excessive bills, with Senate Bill 2038 would prohibit a FSER from charging facility, observation, or provider fees for testing or vaccinating a patient in their vehicle. The bill would also prohibit FSERs from charging a price that is unconscionable during a declared state of disaster.

According to TAHP, even before the pandemic, freestanding ERs were responsible for more than $3 billion in unnecessary health care costs every year in Texas.

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