Texas free-standing ERs want to help in COVID-19 efforts - FOX34 Lubbock

Texas free-standing ERs want to help in COVID-19 efforts

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The state's free-standing emergency rooms want to pitch into the effort of combating COVID-19, but under the current law they can't.

The Texas Association of Free-Standing Emergency Centers reports its has 1,500 beds ready for patients. With more than 200 facilities across Texas, it suggests this could ease the burden on hospitals.

That would require the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to approve them for reimbursement. CEO of STAR ER Ryan Lewis wants Texas to lead the way.

"The federal government, the state government are already looking at plans to refurbish hotels and vacant facilities to make them into emergency facilities and hospitals, yet they're not even utilizing - to the fullest extent -- the very facilities that they have sitting open and ready to go," Lewis said. 

If approved, the ER's claim they could facilitate testing and treatment as well as telemedicine. They'd also be able to provide infection assessment, prescriptions, lab work and imaging. None of those are allowed under existing statue.

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