urgent care

Operation Turkey Day 2020
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For Thanksgiving 2020, our Frontline ER Richmond team volunteered to be a part of Operation Turkey in the Houston area.

Sponsored by the Office of Veteran’s Affairs, the Frontline team was part of a joint effort with several agencies and supporting organizations.  The event fed the homeless and served meals to those who, otherwise, wouldn’t have food for the holiday.  All told, 500 turkeys were smoked resulting in 8,000 meals for families and the homeless from Katy to conroe, Texas.

Frontline ER is pleased and proud to be active in supporting the communities we serve.  Thanks to all who participated.

Telling the Difference Between Seasonal Allergies and COVID-19
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With allergy season coinciding with the global pandemic, it bears repeating that we should all consider the similarities and differences between the symptoms for the two afflictions. Before you run off to be tested, consider which symptoms go with with which illness.  Let’s list the symptoms of each and those they have in common (data courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control):

  • Symptoms more common of COVID-19
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Diarrhea
    • Fever and chills
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Muscle and body aches
  • Symptoms more common of seasonal allergies
    • Itchy or watery eyes
    • Sneezing
  • Symptoms common of both:
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Cough
    • Sore throat
    • Shortness of breath
    • Fatigue
    • Headache

If you are showing signs of a fever, shortness of breath, coughing or headache, you should be seen by a physician to see if you require testing.  Older adults or people who have severe underlying chronic conditions like heart or lung disease, diabetes seem to be at a higher risk.  Please do not hesitate to see a doctor.

Should you have any further questions, please consult this additional information on our website or give us a call.

 

Understanding Your Health Insurance
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There is a lot to learn about health insurance, and these definitions may help you understand your health plan.   Please understand that your benefits are established by your insurance company, not the medical facility.

Copayment is a fixed amount set by your health insurance paid to your providers.  The copay is due at the time of service. Examples of copays:

  • An emergency room copay might be $150.
  • A physician office visit, $25.
  • Prescription medication, $10.

Deductible is a fixed amount that you pay out of pocket each year before your health insurance begins to pay for medical services. If you have not met your annual deductible (expenses accured between January  to December of the year), you are responsible for medical charges until it is reached. Sometimes the insurance company applies something towards the patient’s deductible and sometimes it does not.

Coinsurance is the amount that you pay for covered medical services after you’ve satisfied your deductible. Coinsurance is typically expressed as a percentage of the charge for a service rendered by a healthcare provider. For example, if your insurance company covers 80% of the allowable charge for a specific service, you may be required to cover the remaining 20% as coinsurance. The coinsurance will apply first then the Out of Pocket amount will apply after.

Maximum Out-Of-Pocket Costs.  These are the annual limit for which patients are responsible under a health insurance plan. This limit does not apply to premiums, charges from out-of-network health care providers or services that are not covered by the plan. These charges happen when the deductible limit is met first and then the out-of-pocket limit is met. Once the annual limit is fully met by the patient’s plan, then the insurance will cover 100 percent of the allowed amount on the claim. This means no more copayments, deductible or coinsurance amounts to pay once the out-of-pocket annual limit is met.

Covered Services are what your plan will pay for completely or in part. Your health plan does not have to cover every service. The plan may only pay for a certain number of some services. Call the insurance company to see what services are covered. If a service you need is not covered, you should talk to your service coordinator before getting the service.

Prior Authorization means the emergency room does not need prior authorization.  Some plans require prior authorization (or prior approval) before certain services are provided. The doctor provides information to the plan to request the authorization. If the plan does not authorize the service, the insurance company will not pay for the service.

In Network.  Texas Senate Bill 425 ensures that a licensed emergency room does not need to be “in-network.”  That is, part of your insurance company network.

Appealing: You cannot appeal if the service was not covered by the plan or if you received more than the amount of services allowed.   If the insurance company still denies payment, you may be able to have an independent review organization (IRO) look at the denial. An IRO is an independent third party certified by the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) (www.tdi.texas.gov/pubs/consumer/cb005.html).

Should you have any further questions or need clarification on your Frontline ER invoice, please contact us.

Frontline ER Richmond Clarifies Its COVID-19 Testing Payment Policies
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Frontline ER Richmond is pleased to able to offer COVID-19 Antigen testing with results provided during your visit.  However, as of October, 24, 2020, payment policies have changed with regard to insurance and out-of-pocket payments.

Insurance. Insurance companies have announced varying deadlines regarding the “cost share” of payments for COVID-19 testing.  Frontline ER has established the following requirements for patients using their insurance:

  • A copay will apply to your ER visit for COVID-19 testing.
  • Patients must wait at least five days before testing after initial exposure.
  • A patient must exhibit symptoms within the last ten days.

Out of Pocket or Self Pay. For patients paying for the test themselves, Frontline ER offers quick registration and drive-thru testing paying by cash, credit or debit.  However, we do not provide insurance paperwork to file on your insurance.  We are also unable to provide billing codes or receipts for insurance.

Travel.  Testing for travel is self pay only (the fee).  We only offer the Antigen COVID-19 test with results during your visit.   We do not offer the molecular PCR test at this time.  It is the responsibility of the traveler to determine which test is required for their specific travel needs.

Frontline ER is a state-of-the-art freestanding emergency center providing diagnostics and treatment for patients 24/7.  Equipped to provide pediatric and trauma emergency care as well as treatment of workplace and household injuries, Frontline ER has locations in Dallas and Richmond, Texas.