Emergency Care Service Frequently Asked Questions
We offer all typical ER services to accommodate any emergency. We have the latest in testing capabilities, advanced medical equipment and a full pharmacy – to get our patients better fast.
What is a free-standing emergency room?
A free-standing emergency room is a medical facility that is not attached to a hospital but functions exactly like ERs that are. They are open to the public 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for the treatment of any emergency. In Texas, they are licensed by the Department of State Health Services to ensure each one meets a high standard of quality and capability. Since the majority of patients who need emergency room care do not need to be admitted to the hospital, an emergency room doesn’t need to be connected to a hospital. Being independent of a hospital reduces many of the inefficiencies and other negatives associated with the usual ER experience. Although not located on a hospital campus, each one must maintain the same services provided by traditional ERs, such as CT scan capabilities, Lab capabilities, and specially trained staff, etc. Free-standing emergency rooms are also similar to traditional ERs because they are staffed with the same board-certified doctors and experienced ER nurses that you will find at any local hospital-based emergency room in town. In fact, we all worked at one or more of the local ER’s prior to joining the CapRock team! Now the legal stuff. SB 425 and HB3276 requires the following posting: • This facility is a freestanding emergency medical care facility; • This facility charges rates comparable to a hospital emergency room and may charge a facility fee; • This facility or a physician providing medical care at this facility may not be a participating provider in patient’s health benefits network; • The physician providing medical care at this facility may bill separately from the facility for the medical care provided to a patient. • This facility is not a participating provider in any health benefit plan provider network.
How is a freestanding emergency room different from an urgent care center?
A freestanding emergency department is open 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. Most urgent care centers are only open 8 to 12 hours per day. A free-standing emergency room is capable of treating any emergent medical condition such as heart attack, stroke, head injury, seizure, sprains, broken bones, severe respiratory problems, pediatric emergencies, work-related injuries and everything in between. Many of these emergencies are beyond the scope of treatment for urgent care centers. Urgent care centers almost never have CT scan, ultrasound, and full lab capability within their facility but freestanding ERs are required to have these available at all times.
How are you different from a hospital-based emergency room?
CapRock Emergency provides the same diagnostics and treatment capabilities of any traditional hospital-based ER. However, we pride ourselves on having virtually no wait times for our patients to see a doctor, compared to a national average wait time of 4 hours at a traditional ER. Frequently, in hospitals both locally and nationwide, patients are cared for only by a Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant or Resident. At CapRock Emergency, you will always be treated by a Board Certified Physician. Additionally, nearly all traditional emergency rooms are overwhelmed and understaffed. This creates rushed staff, impersonal encounters, increased risk of medical errors and very little time with the doctor. At CapRock Emergency, our low patient numbers allow our staff to focus on our patients and ensure their care is safe, convenient and personal. Our care is 100% patient centered with NO rush.
Do you accept my insurance?
We accept all major insurance plans. However, unfortunately due to government regulations, we cannot accept Medicaid, Medicare or TriCare. Network status DOES NOT APPLY to emergency visits. To avoid delays during an emergency, Texas State Law requires that ALL insurance plans other than Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare treat EVERY ER, including CapRock, as IN NETWORK when paying claims. In other words, even if we are not technically “in network” with a given insurance plan, that insurer must pay our claims as though we are.
How do you handle bill payments at CapRock?
Texas state law requires all insurance providers to pay “in-network” benefits for any member presenting to an emergency room for medical treatment, including freestanding emergency rooms such as CapRock Emergency. We accept all insurance plans but patients are required by their insurance provider to pay a copay at the time of service. The copay amount varies from one insurance plan to another. It is a violation of your insurance company’s policy for CapRock, or any other facility, to waive a copay. We have discounted rates as an option for those who are paying with cash. During the registration process these prices can be discussed with you, before you decide to proceed with services.
What is the difference between a deductible and a copay?
A copay is the fee an insurance plan requires the beneficiary to pay at the time of service. By insurance policy, it cannot be waived. It varies according to insurance carrier and particular insurance plan. A deductible is the total out of pocket amount that a beneficiary must pay before the insurance plan begins to cover medical expenses. After the deductible is met, a given insurance plan may still only cover a certain portion of medical expenses. These almost always renew yearly, meaning that even if you met your deductible last year, you must meet it again this year before your insurer begins to cover expenses. These details also vary according to insurance carrier and particular insurance plan. Refer to your policy or call your insurer for more information about your specific benefits.
Can I be seen by a doctor if I do not have insurance or money?
According to Federal and Texas law, any person presenting to an Emergency Room for treatment is entitled to a medical screening exam. This exam allows a doctor to determine if an emergency is present. All patients with truly emergent conditions will be medically stabilized regardless of insurance status or ability to pay.
What if I have to be admitted to a hospital?
CapRock Emergency has relationships with all local hospitals in the event that your medical condition requires hospitalization. Additionally, arrangements have been made to facilitate direct admission to a hospital room (when medically appropriate), bypassing the admitting hospital’s ER and thus avoiding an unnecessary, repeat ER visit and bill.
Will CapRock Emergency coordinate with my doctor?
Yes, we can securely transmit to your primary doctor all medical records, lab results and radiology reports to improve follow-up care. Additionally, all of our doctors and nurses have practiced in this community for years and know all the doctors in town. Therefore, they can comfortably communicate with your doctor by phone, when needed.
How is my privacy protected?
Like all healthcare offices and facilities CapRock Emergency is subject to HIPAA and takes patient privacy very seriously. We work to make your time in our ER as private and personal as possible. Furthermore, we have contracted with privacy experts to ensure our servers, computers and all communications are HIPAA compliant and completely secure and private. Any communication with your doctor will be private and HIPAA compliant.