Five Myths About Freestanding ERs

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Facts vs Myths About Free Standing Emergency Rooms

Everyone hopes they will never have to visit an emergency room. However, accidents and severe illnesses can happen at a moment’s notice, which is why emergency rooms exist. When a sudden injury or illness occurs to you, a friend, or a family member, you may hesitate to go to a freestanding ER because of common myths and misconceptions. For that reason, we’ve debunked these common myths about freestanding emergency rooms.

MYTH #1: “Freestanding Emergency Rooms are not true emergency rooms.”

FACT: The Texas Department of State Health Services enforces very clear licensing rules to ensure that freestanding emergency rooms provide the same level of service and meet the same standards as hospital ERs. Like hospitals, freestanding ERs are required to have an emergency trained physician and registered nurse onsite at all times, must be open 24/7, 365 days a year, and must have the clinical equipment necessary to quickly diagnose and treat emergencies.

MYTH #2: “Freestanding Emergency Rooms purposely saddle patients with surprise medical bills (often referred to as balance billing).”

FACT: Based on patient satisfaction surveys and reviews, the vast majority of freestanding ER patients are well informed about the facility’s billing practices and have no complaints about their bills. However, when patients do get hit with unexpected out-of-pocket expenses, there are two primary causes: predatory underpayment by health insurers and confusion on the part of patients regarding the specifics of their own benefit plans.

Texas law requires insurance companies to reimburse health care providers at the “usual and customary rate” for emergency care. But because there is no definition of the term “usual and customary” nor uniform guidelines for insurance companies to follow, insurers have determined their own arbitrary rates and unilaterally declared them to be “usual and customary.” While some insurers provide adequate reimbursement for services, others are reimbursing at a much lower percentage. This leaves freestanding ERs with few options. They can either accept the low reimbursement rate, appeal to the Texas Department of Insurance, or collect the remaining balance from the patient.

MYTH #3: “Unlike hospital ERs, freestanding emergency rooms are not required to treat all patients.”

FACT: Freestanding ERs provide critical access to care for any patient that walks through their door, regardless of insurance or ability to pay. This includes Medicare, Medicaid, and uninsured patients. Just like a hospital-based ER, freestanding ERs are legally required to administer medical screenings and stabilize all patients at their facility. Freestanding ERs provide millions of dollars in uncompensated care annually, serving as an important resource to their local communities.

Dripping-Springs-Emergency-Monument-SignageMYTH #4: “Freestanding emergency rooms price gouge consumers by intentionally misleading them into thinking they are at an urgent care facility.”

FACT: Freestanding ERs provide high quality emergency care for medical emergencies. Furthermore, the Texas Legislature created clear guidelines for freestanding ER operators and comprehensive regulations to ensure freestanding ERs provide the same levels of service as hospital-based ERs. Each freestanding emergency room facility has both external and internal signage prominently displaying the word “Emergency,” postings outlining the available levels of services, and billing disclosures that patients are required to sign acknowledging they are in an emergency room setting. It is also important to note that only licensed emergency care facilities are allowed to use the word “emergency” in their name or marketing material.

MYTH #5: “Freestanding emergency rooms increase the cost of health care.”

FACT: According to a 2010 University of Michigan study, the average cost of an admitted patient is $35,000 per case. Preliminary research suggests that freestanding ERs may help to reduce inpatient admission rates. By treating patients in a freestanding ER setting and transferring only patients in need of inpatient care, freestanding ERs can improve overall efficiency and help save on health care costs. Freestanding ERs have no financial incentive to push patients into hospital admissions, and so can serve as unbiased gateways into the healthcare system.

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About Five Star ER

Five Star ER is locally owned and operated by the physicians of Emergency Service Partners, a respected provider of emergency physician services to hospitals and health systems across Texas for nearly 30 years. Our experienced physicians bring their excellent tradition of emergency care to a first-class, patient-centered freestanding ER.

Our patient-centered care means you will come first. Our freestanding ER provides the capabilities of a hospital emergency department, without the hassles and long waits that can be part of a hospital ER. From the comfortable lounge area and private exam rooms to our top-notch medical team and latest technology, patients can be door-to-doctor in less than 15 minutes. Find the location nearest you.

This content was created to be purely educational in nature. This post is not meant to be used as a substitute for medical treatment or personal consultation regarding a medical condition. As always, if you or a loved one is suffering a life-threatening medical emergency or injury, call 911.

Connect with Five Star ER on Facebook, Instagram and Google+ for more information and health tips!

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Be Prepared to Beat the Heat This Summer!

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We all know how hot Texas summers can get. Preventing heat exhaustion allows everyone to enjoy the summer months without risking heat stress or heat stroke. Do you know what signs and symptoms to watch out for? Keep reading to find out!

Signs and Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion occurs when the body gets too hot. Normally, your body will cool itself by sweating, but if you are not adequately hydrated the body systems that regulate temperature will become overwhelmed and become too hot.

Prevention is easy and essential.

“You have to stay hydrated,” says Dr. Brian Aldred, medical director of Five Star ER in Round Rock, TX. “Cover up your skin with loose-fitting clothing as much as possible, stay out of the direct heat as much as possible, obviously sun screen and hats and visors are helpful to protect your skin, and just drink lots of fluids.”

Many people think that heat exhaustion only occurs at high temperatures, but that’s not the case. In fact, heat exhaustion can occur when outside temperatures are as low as 57 degrees Fahrenheit.

Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • Sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Pale, clammy skin
  • Thirst
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Dizziness, fainting
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Muscle and abdominal cramps
  • Mild temperature elevations
  • Weakness

It is important to stay hydrated with water, coconut water, or another beverage (without caffeine) that replenishes necessary minerals and nutrients that are lost through sweat. Heat stroke can come on rapidly, but if you stay cool and hydrated it can be easily be prevented.

What Do I Do if I See Someone Suffering from Heat Exhaustion?

Heat exhaustion requires immediate attention because it can progress to heatstroke, a life-threatening illness.

“Heatstroke is characterized by the body being overwhelmed with its response to try to cool itself,” Aldred says. “Typically, with heat exhaustion, you’re very sweaty. With heatstroke, you actually become dried up. Your body cannot sweat anymore; it doesn’t have the fluids and mechanisms to cool itself down. This is a significant medical emergency characterized by confusion, sometimes seizure, and even just unresponsiveness.”

If you suspect heatstroke, call 911 immediately. While help is on the way, take the following steps to help cool the person down:

  • Put the person in a cool tub of water or a cool shower.
  • Get the person wet with a garden hose.
  • Sponge with cool water.
  • Fan while misting with cool water.
  • Place ice packs or cool wet towels on the neck, armpits and groin.
  • Cover with cool damp sheets.
  • Let the person drink cool water or other nonalcoholic beverage without caffeine, if he or she is able.
  • Begin CPR if the person loses consciousness and shows no signs of circulation, such as breathing, coughing or movement.

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About Five Star ER

Five Star ER is locally owned and operated by the physicians of Emergency Service Partners, a respected provider of emergency physician services to hospitals and health systems across Texas for nearly 30 years. Our experienced physicians bring their excellent tradition of emergency care to a first-class, patient-centered freestanding ER.

Our patient-centered care means you will come first. Our freestanding ER provides the capabilities of a hospital emergency department, without the hassles and long waits that can be part of a hospital ER. From the comfortable lounge area and private exam rooms to our top-notch medical team and latest technology, patients can be door-to-doctor in less than 15 minutes. To find the location nearest you, click here.

This content was created to be purely educational in nature. This post is not meant to be used as a substitute for medical treatment or personal consultation regarding a medical condition. As always, if you or a loved one is suffering a life-threatening medical emergency or injury, call 911.

Connect with Five Star ER on Facebook, Instagram and Google+ for more information and health tips!

Today we are talking about heat and dehydration

Posted by Five Star ER on Wednesday, August 3, 2016

 

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Breathe Easier: Know the Signs of an Asthma Attack

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We are streaming live from our Dripping Springs location today with Five Star ER Dr. Janna Welch! Today’s #WellnessWednesday topic is allergies and asthma. Have questions? Leave them in the comments!

Posted by Five Star ER on Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Asthma is a chronic disease that affects more than 24 million Americans, including 6 million children. Each year, Asthma attacks and complications account for 2 million emergency room visits. Knowing the symptoms of an asthma emergency, and when to seek asthma emergency treatment, could save your life or the life of someone you love.

What Is Asthma?

Asthma is defined as a lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways making it hard to breathe. Asthma sufferers have frequent episodes of wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe), chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing.

“Asthma is a potentially very serious lung disease that, unfortunately, is really, really common,” says Dr. Janna Welch, an emergency medicine physician at Five Star ER in Dripping Springs, TX. “Basically, it’s inflammatory changes in your lung in the small tubes that come down into your lung for oxygen exchange, called bronchioles. In those bronchioles, because of irritants and allergens in the atmosphere, you get swelling of those tubes, so it’s much harder for air to flow through. Also, there’s a spasm component, called bronchospasm, where irritants get into those airways that are already constricted from swelling, and make them clamp down really tight. That’s when you hear wheezing.”

Who Suffers from Asthma?

Asthma is a condition that affects people of all ages. In most cases the first symptoms of asthma manifest during childhood, and continue on as the person ages. In the United States, an estimated 24 million people suffer from asthma.

How Do You Know if You Suffer from Asthma?

Asthma can be difficult to diagnose because often the symptoms come and go. If you are consistently experiencing symptoms like the ones listed above (wheezing, tightness of the chest, coughing) you may be suffering from asthma. If you suspect you may be suffering from asthma, your doctor will evaluate your medical history as well as your family’s. After some lung function tests, your doctor may choose to prescribe medication if they feel you are indeed suffering from asthma.

Is Asthma Hereditary?

“Experts think so,” Welch says. “They think there are two components: a genetic component—they haven’t quite figured out what that is, but asthma certainly runs in families—and then there’s a big environmental component—how much dust is in the area where you live, how much pet dander and how many outdoor allergens you are exposed to.”

What is an “Asthma Attack”?

“Any irritants can cause an asthma attack,” Welch says. Asthma attacks range from mild to severe, and require different levels of care depending on their level of severity. During a mild asthma attack, you may experience wheezing, coughing, and be short of breath. Often times, an inhaler kept on hand can prevent mild asthma attacks from becoming severe.

More severe asthma attacks may require medical attention, as they can become life-threatening. Severe asthma attacks are characterized by an inability to breathe caused by narrowed pathways that become clogged with mucus.

In rare cases, asthma can be fatal. “One of my childhood friends actually died from an asthma attack,” Welch says. “What happens with these patients is, their asthma gets really bad, they take all of their treatments, they are not responding to their treatments very well, and they just simply get tired and their body has less and less ability to compensate for the difficulty breathing. As they get tired, they eventually lose consciousness and stop breathing. It happens in very rare cases, but it’s something that you need to know about.”

What Should I Do if Someone is Having an Asthma Attack?

If you or some else is having an asthma attack it is important not to panic. Panicking can exacerbate some of the more dangerous symptoms of the attack. Call 911 or get emergency help right away if you or someone else is experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Feeling out of breath, even when you’re not moving
  • Trouble walking, talking, or doing normal activities
  • Anxiety
  • Not feeling better after using your rescue inhaler
  • Peak flow readings of less than 50% of your personal best
  • Bluish lips and fingernails
  • Exhaustion or confusion
  • The skin around your ribs looking “sucked in” (especially in children)
  • Unconsciousness

 

About Five Star ER

Five Star ER is locally owned and operated by the physicians of Emergency Service Partners, L.P., a respected provider of emergency physician services to hospitals and health systems across Texas for more than 28 years. Our experienced physicians bring their excellent tradition of emergency care to a first-class, patient-centered freestanding ER.

Our patient-centered care means you will come first. Our freestanding ER provides the capabilities of a hospital emergency department, without the hassles and long waits that can be part of a hospital ER. From the comfortable lounge area and private exam rooms to our top-notch medical team and latest technology, patients can be door-to-doctor in less than 15 minutes. To find the location nearest you, click here.

This content was created to be purely educational in nature. This post is not meant to be used as a substitute for medical treatment or personal consultation regarding a medical condition. As always, if you or a loved one is suffering a life-threatening medical emergency or injury, call 911.

Connect with Five Star ER on Facebook, Instagram and Google+ for more information and health tips!

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When Is a Food Allergy a Medical Emergency?

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Food Allergy Action Month

May Is Food Allergy Action Month!

Food allergies are a serious medical condition affecting an estimated 15 million people in the United States. A food allergy sends someone to the ER every three minutes! Read on to learn more about food allergies and what to do in an emergency.

What Is a Food Allergy?

Food allergy is an immune system reaction that occurs soon after eating a certain food. Even a tiny amount of the allergy-causing food can trigger signs and symptoms such as digestive problems, hives or swollen airways. Most food allergies first develop in children 6 years old or younger, but food allergies can appear in adults as well.

While any food can trigger a reaction, eight specific foods make up about 90% of all allergic reactions:

  1. Milk
  2. Eggs
  3. Peanuts
  4. Tree nuts (like walnuts and pecans)
  5. Soy
  6. Wheat
  7. Fish
  8. Shellfish

What Are the Symptoms of a Food Allergy?

An allergic reaction can happen within minutes of eating, or it may happen hours later. Food allergy symptoms can range from mild to severe. Just because an initial reaction causes few problems doesn’t mean that all reactions will be similar; a food that triggered only mild symptoms on one occasion may cause more severe symptoms at another time.

“Many people think they only have a food intolerance to certain foods,” says Dr. Brian Aldred, medical director of Five Star ER in Round Rock, TX. “If you experience mild abdominal pain, bloating, or nausea after eating, it is most likely a case of food intolerance. If you develop a rash, itching of the skin/tongue/throat, or any sensation of tongue or throat swelling, you likely are having a food allergy. Mild food allergies may become more severe, and even life-threatening, with a subsequent exposure to the food.”

Mild symptoms of a food allergy include:

Severe symptoms of a food allergy include:

Mild to moderate symptoms (e.g., itching, sneezing, hives or rashes) are often treated with antihistamines and oral or topical steroids. Severe food allergy reactions should be treated as an emergency and medical help should be sought immediately.

“Simple rashes can often be treated with topical benadryl or oral benadryl,” says Dr. Mike Zimmerman, medical director of Five Star ER in Pflugerville, TX.

When Is a Food Allergy a Medical Emergency?

Severe symptoms of a food allergy alone or in combination with mild symptoms may be signs of anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. During an anaphylactic reaction, the body releases chemical substances, including histamine, into the blood stream which causes blood vessels in multiple parts of the body to swell. Within minutes of an anaphylactic reaction, a person’s airways could become so restricted that they are unable to breathe.

“If you are having any swelling of the mouth, lips, tongue, throat, or any feeling like you can’t breathe, you need to go to the ER ASAP,” Zimmerman says.

Anaphylaxis requires immediate medical treatment, including a prompt injection of epinephrine and a trip to a hospital emergency room. If it isn’t treated properly, anaphylaxis can be fatal.

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About Five Star ER

Five Star ER is locally owned and operated by the physicians of Emergency Service Partners, L.P., a respected provider of emergency physician services to hospitals and health systems across Texas for nearly 30. Our experienced physicians bring their excellent tradition of emergency care to a first-class, patient-centered freestanding ER.

Our patient-centered care means you will come first. Our freestanding ER provides the capabilities of a hospital emergency department, without the hassles and long waits that can be part of a hospital ER. From the comfortable lounge area and private exam rooms, to our top-notch medical team and latest technology, patients can be door-to-doctor in less than 15 minutes. To find the location nearest you, click here.

This content was created to be purely educational in nature. This post is not meant to be used as a substitute for medical treatment or personal consultation regarding a medical condition. As always, if you or a loved one is suffering a life-threatening medical emergency or injury, call 911.

 

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The Truth About Bats & Rabies

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On Wednesday, April 19, Five Star ER Medical Director Dr. Brian Aldred sat down with Dianne Odegard, Education & Outreach Manager at Bat Conservation International, to discuss rabies and bats. This topic has been in the news lately with bats testing positive for rabies at various locations in the Austin area.

Medical Director Dr. Brian Aldred is live for #WellnessWednesday on the topic of bats and rabies with special guest Dianne Odegard of Bat Conservation International.

Posted by Five Star ER on Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Statistics from Texas Health and Human Services show that about 95% of the animals that tested positive for rabies are bats. But that information can be somewhat misleading. More bats are tested than any other animal, and it is important to remember that a very small percentage of bats are actually “carriers” of rabies. This means that the vast majority of bats who have rabies have contracted the virus and will die from it. Rabies is a serious virus that certainly can be fatal in humans, however, annually only about 1 – 2 people die from rabies in the United States.

Prevention is Key

If you encounter a wild animal that could have rabies, such as a bat, raccoon, fox, skunk or coyote, keep a safe distance. Never attempt to catch or kill such an animal. Call 311 if you have an animal in your home and need help removing it.

What to Do if You are Bit

Rabies is transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal, usually with a bite. If you think you have been bit, or have come into contact with the saliva of an animal that could have rabies, seek medical attention immediately.

Why Bats are Important

Odegard tells us in the video about the different varieties of bats and their function in our ecosystem. According to Bat Conservation International, 78 bat species are endangered worldwide. Bats pollinate more than 500 species of plants, spread seeds in deforested regions, and eat insects; in fact, little brown bats have been observed eating more than 600 mosquitoes in an hour.

Bats are not naturally aggressive. Since we live in a city with a large bat population, it is important to be educated on how to coexist with bats in a safe way.

To learn more, watch the video, and visit www.batcon.org.

Download this notice for what to do if you find a bat in your school:
English  |  Español

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Don’t Drive Distracted: 64% Of All Car Accidents Involve Cell Phones

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Distracted Driving DangersIn today’s high tech and busy world, it can be so tempting to pick up your phone to send a text, answer a call or reply to an email. Despite knowing the risks, many drivers (especially teens) continue to text and drive. With April being National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, now is the time to make the commitment to drive phone-free!

What Is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, adjusting the stereo, entertainment or navigation system—anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.

Texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed!

How Dangerous Is Texting And Driving?

Distracted drivers aren’t just a threat to themselves: they’re a danger to everyone else on the road. In 2015 alone, 38% of Texas drivers admitted to talking on their cell phone while driving and more than 20% reported to sending text messages or emails from behind the wheel. During daylight hours, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving. That creates enormous potential for deaths and injuries on U.S. roads. Teens were the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal car accidents.

Do Your Part To End Distracted Driving

The most important thing anyone can do to prevent distracted driving is to put the phone down while in the car! If you can’t avoid the temptation to check emails, calls or texts while driving you can download one of many free apps that will disable texting/calls while you are behind the wheel. In addition, share this information with someone you love to help spread awareness on the dangers of distracted driving.

About Five Star ER

Five Star ER is locally owned and operated by the physicians of Emergency Service Partners, L.P., a respected provider of emergency physician services to hospitals and health systems across Texas for more than 28 years. Our experienced physicians bring their excellent tradition of emergency care to a first-class, patient-centered freestanding ER.

Our patient-centered care means you will come first. Our freestanding ER provides the capabilities of a hospital emergency department, without the hassles and long waits that can be part of a hospital ER. From the comfortable lounge area and private exam rooms to our top-notch medical team and latest technology, patients can be door-to-doctor in less than 15 minutes. To find the location nearest you, click here.

This content was created to be purely educational in nature. This post is not meant to be used as a substitute for medical treatment or personal consultation regarding a medical condition. As always, if you or a loved one is suffering a life-threatening medical emergency or injury, call 911.

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Tips To Having An Eggcellent (And Safe!) Easter

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Egg hunts, family get-togethers and backyard BBQs make Easter a fun time of year for everyone! Don’t let an accident or injury spoil the fun! Use these tips to keep your kids and family safe.

Check For Rotten Eggs!

Decorating eggs is a fun tradition for many families, but did you know Salmonella can be found on both the inside and outside of eggs? To avoid cross contamination and possible illness make sure you store and cook eggs properly before dying. Always wash your hands thoroughly (and your kids too!) before and after handling raw or uncooked eggs.

Hunt Low, Not High

If you are planning to have an Easter egg hunt, make sure to hide eggs in places that are not too high for kids to reach to avoid falls and injuries. Also avoid placing eggs near the street or driveway if there are cars/vehicles coming and going. It’s easy for kids to get excited during holiday celebrations so make sure there is plenty of adult supervision at all times!

Designate Egg Hunt Boundaries

Set up a boundary for an outdoor Easter egg hunt so kids are not wandering off or into places that aren’t safe or supervised. It may also be good idea to separate kids in age groups to prevent big kids from knocking over smaller kids.

Check All The Eggs In Your Basket

If it’s small enough to fit inside of an Easter egg, it’s small enough to fit inside of a child’s mouth. Prevent choking hazards by checking that all toys and candy are age appropriate for the little ones at your Easter gathering.

Stay Safe Outdoors

If you are going to be outside for long periods for an Easter egg hunt or other outdoor activities, remember to apply sunscreen to prevent getting sun burned. Broad spectrum (UVA & UVB protection) with at least a 15 SPF should be used. If you burn easily, then you should use higher SPF. Also remember to drink plenty of fluids and seek shade for rest to prevent dehydration and heat illness.

About Five Star ER

Five Star ER is locally owned and operated by the physicians of Emergency Service Partners, L.P., a respected provider of emergency physician services to hospitals and health systems across Texas for more than 28 years. Our experienced physicians bring their excellent tradition of emergency care to a first-class, patient-centered freestanding ER.

Our patient-centered care means you will come first. Our freestanding ER provides the capabilities of a hospital emergency department, without the hassles and long waits that can be part of a hospital ER. From the comfortable lounge area and private exam rooms to our top-notch medical team and latest technology, patients can be door-to-doctor in less than 15 minutes. To find the location nearest you, click here.

This content was created to be purely educational in nature. This post is not meant to be used as a substitute for medical treatment or personal consultation regarding a medical condition. As always, if you or a loved one is suffering a life-threatening medical emergency or injury, call 911.

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Take Action To Protect Access To Care: Oppose SB 1 Rider

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Not only is this rider anti-competitive and illegal, it endangers the lives of thousands of state employees across Texas by limiting their options for care in the event of a medical emergency. Please urge the Senate Finance Committee to reconsider this rider that ultimately hurts patients. Request that the committee seek cost containment through alternative measures that would not violate federal and state law or jeopardize the health of thousands of Texans throughout the state.

Click HERE to message your state representative and make your voice heard!

What Is The SB 1 Rider?
On Wednesday, March 15, 2017, the Senate Finance Committee adopted recommendations from a cost containment budget work group that would negatively impact public health by reducing access to emergency care across the state.

The Senate Finance Committee voted to add a rider to Senate Bill 1, the Senate budget bill, which directs the Employee Retirement System (ERS) to “disincentivize member utilization of freestanding emergency rooms.” The rider would effectively shift a larger portion of costs for emergency care rendered at a freestanding emergency room to the enrollees of the ERS plan, including higher co-payments and deductibles, regardless of the facility’s network status.

Freestanding emergency rooms are fully functioning emergency rooms that are not attached to a larger hospital. These facilities provide the exact same level of service as hospital-based emergency rooms, and can treat true medical emergencies like heart attacks and strokes. Freestanding emergency rooms are subject to state licensing, with safety and quality standards similar to hospital emergency rooms.

Who Will Be Affected By The SB 1 Rider?
Thousands of state employees across Texas will be affected if SB 1 Rider passes. Blaming providers and punishing ERS enrollees for a poorly managed health insurance contract is not the answer, and it will only lead to increased litigation for the state.

Make Your Voice Heard
Take action now to protect access to care by messaging your state representative today! Click HERE to get started.

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Know the Signs of Alcohol Poisoning

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Spring break is that time of year when college students head out with friends to take a break from studies. SXSW and other spring break activities are fun, but you should be aware of the dangers of binge drinking.

Five Star ER Medical Director, Dr. Greg Hadden says “Visits to the ER for alcohol intoxication have surged in the last decade. Being irresponsible with alcohol consumption can lead to a costly ER bill, severe injury to the intoxicated person, and sometimes even death. Each year thousands of young healthy people die from just consuming alcohol irresponsibly. Even more die from the poor decisions that they make while intoxicated such as driving, boating, etc.”

What is Alcohol Poisoning?

Alcohol poisoning is defined as having a very high level of alcohol in the body which can shut down critical areas of the brain that control breathing, heart rate, body temperature and more. Without medical help, a person suffering from alcohol poisoning can die. Consuming large amounts of alcohol in a short period of time is referred to as binge drinking and is the most common cause of alcohol poisoning.

What Are The Signs of Alcohol Poisoning?

Common signs and symptoms of alcohol poisoning include confusion, vomiting, seizures, slow or irregular breathing and low body temperature. However, it’s not necessary to have all the symptoms before you seek medical help. If you suspect that someone has alcohol poisoning, seek immediate medical care. A person with alcohol poisoning who is unconscious or can’t be awakened is at risk of dying.

Who Is At Risk For Alcohol Poisoning?

While any adult who consumes a large amount of alcohol in a short period of time is at risk for alcohol poisoning, college students are more likely to binge drink.
According to one study, during spring break the average college aged male reported drinking 18 drinks per day and the average college aged female reported up to 10 drinks per day – an amount well above the safe levels of alcohol consumption. Researchers estimate that around 50% of college students will drink until they pass out at least one time during spring break. 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die each school year from alcohol-related unintentional injuries.

How Do You Prevent Alcohol Poisoning?

Nobody wants to eliminate the fun of spring break, but you should always make safety a priority. Here are a few tips:

1. Stay hydrated
2. Avoid having several drinks during a short period of time
3. Know your own alcohol limits
4. Don’t drink and drive
5. Seek emergency medical help if you suspect alcohol poisoning
About Five Star ER

Five Star ER is locally owned and operated by the physicians of Emergency Service Partners, L.P., a respected provider of emergency physician services to hospitals and health systems across Texas for more than 28 years. Our experienced physicians bring their excellent tradition of emergency care to a first-class, patient-centered freestanding ER.

Our patient-centered care means you will come first. Our freestanding ER provides the capabilities of a hospital emergency department, without the hassles and long waits that can be part of a hospital ER. From the comfortable lounge area and private exam rooms to our top-notch medical team and latest technology, patients can be door-to-doctor in less than 15 minutes. To find the location nearest you, click here.

This content was created to be purely educational in nature. This post is not meant to be used as a substitute for medical treatment or personal consultation regarding a medical condition. As always, if you or a loved one is suffering a life-threatening medical emergency or injury, call 911.

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