KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Texas Hospitals Complain Insured Patients Moving To Urgent Care Centers

The hospitals complain that the shift is a problem because they are getting less funding for the uninsured.

The New York Times/Texas Tribune: Texas Hospitals Say They've Lost Insured Patients To Urgent Care
Opting to skip the wait at hospital emergency rooms, an increasing number of Texans are choosing to use urgent care centers that are popping up in strip malls and shopping districts. ... The increasing number of urgent care centers is problematic for Texas hospitals. Hospitals say they are competing with the clinics for the same pool of insured Texans, at a time when they are also getting less money to cover the cost of treating uninsured patients (Ura, 8/28).

Also, KHN examines a change mandated by the health law on ER services.

Kaiser Health News: Beware Of Higher Charges If You Go To An Out-Of-Network Emergency Room
When you need emergency care, chances are you aren't going to pause to figure out whether the nearest hospital is in your health insurer's network. Nor should you. That's why the health law prohibits insurers from charging higher copayments or coinsurance for out-of-network emergency care. ... But there are some potential trouble spots that could leave you on the hook for substantially higher charges than you might expect (Andrews, 8/29).

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