Dr. Terry Mitchell Waxahachie Medical Director

Introducing Dr. Terry Mitchell, Our Waxahachie Medical Director

We are excited and proud to announce that Dr. Terry Mitchell will be our new on-site Medical Director for the Altus Emergency Center in Waxahachie.  Another excellent addition to our Altus Physicians Group.

We were delighted to sit down with Dr. Mitchell to get to know him a little bit; here is an excerpt of our conversation.

Getting to Know Dr. Terry Mitchell

Q: Where were you born?

A: Dr. Terry Mitchell

I’m a Texas boy through and through. I was born in McKinney, Texas.

 

Q: What did you dream of becoming when you grew up?

A: Dr. Terry Mitchell

The first thing I remember wanting to be when I grew up was “on vacation.” Our family vacations were so much fun!

 

Q: Did you have a nickname growing up?

A: Dr. Terry Mitchell

Before college, people just called me “Mitch.” Then during my freshman year in college, while I was playing in my first of 5 intramural single tennis tournament finals, I got a new nickname.

My opponent got a little frustrated during the match and said I was like an octopus as he couldn’t seem to get a ball past me. I ended up losing that match, but the nickname stuck. Oh, and I’m proud to say I went on to win four singles, three doubles, and two mixed doubles intramural tournament finals after that one loss.

 

Q: We know you are a hard worker, but there must be times when you get to relax. Do you have any hobbies or special interests outside of work?

A: Dr. Terry Mitchell

When I am not working, there is a good chance that you will find me on a tennis court. My main interests include tennis, tennis, tennis, Bible study, and travel.

 

Q: What’s a fun fact about you many people may not know?

A: Dr. Terry Mitchell

A fun fact about me that not many people know is that I graduated from college as a schoolteacher and coach.

My first-year teaching, I taught science and coached tennis, winning district in all four events in a class A school.

 

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Q: When and how did you decide to become a doctor?

A: Dr. Terry Mitchell

During that school year, I was very active in a local church teaching both the high school and Men’s Sunday School.

One Sunday morning, the pastor gave a message on the parable of the Talents. He stated that he believed he was being led to help someone change careers.

He explained that the parable was about money but could also apply to your God-given talent. He asked the question: Are you using your talent in this community to the very best you can do?” My wife elbowed me in the ribs and said: “Well, Terry, are you?”

After this, I met with that pastor several times and decided to go to medical school.

 

Q: How hard was it to go back to school to pursue a different career?

A: Dr. Terry Mitchell

It wasn’t easy. I worked nights and weekends at a convenience store and took the courses needed to apply. I then took the MCAT and applied and looked for a teaching job near my hometown of McKinney while waiting to see if I would be accepted.

I got a call from a class A school where I had not applied, wanting to hire me as their head football coach over the phone.

 

Q: Did you get accepted into medical school right away?

A: Dr. Terry Mitchell

I only got one interview for medical school. I learned that it was a look at the lessor applicants to be sure they did not overlook a quality candidate.

My first interview was postponed to the end of the day as the interviewer had a surgical case that was taking longer than expected. So, I went to my second interview first. This interviewer grilled me on several questions that made me feel uncomfortable.

One of these was on how I would handle a patient who presented wanting an abortion. I stumbled over my words and felt sure that I had not left a good impression. I spent hours praying on how I could have answered his questions better.

The first interviewer, now the second, had only 1 question: “How would you handle a teen patient wanting an abortion without her parents knowing?” He said my answers were the best he has ever heard with years of asking that question. He was the head of the selection committee and informed me that I would be in the next entering class.

 

Q: Do you have a good quote to describe you or one that you relate to?

A: Dr. Terry Mitchell

A quote that I have used to describe myself since about 8th grade is:

“I have a lot of ability; it is called desire and hard work.”

 

Q: Fill in the blank: “I really love ____________.”

A: Dr. Terry Mitchell

God, my wife Kris, my kids and grandkids, tennis, bible truths, traveling, and the rest of my family and friends.

 

Q: We can see you are a real family man; can you tell us a little about them? Also, do you have any pets?

A: Dr. Terry Mitchell

My wife is Kris, and we have five kids Delilah, Scotty, Janette, Joshua, and Jacey.

Delilah is married with three kids, Scotty is married with two kids, and Josh is married with one child. Jacey got married this past May and plans to have kids in about five years. Janette is engaged, but there is no date yet. We have three pets:

Zeke is our African Grey Parrot that is 18 and will outlive us both.

Lizzy is a Maltese who is now 15.

Zeus is a Great Dane we have had for about five years.

I think we have pried enough into your personal life, let’s move on to your professional life.

 

Q: Tell a little about your studies, specialties and professional experience

A: Dr. Terry Mitchell

I left a Family Medicine Residency in the second year with marriage on the rocks and an ill physician father who died a little over a year later.

I assumed my father’s general practice in McKinney, which consisted of over 400 nursing home patients in 9 nursing homes. I became the Medical Director of 4 nursing homes, a 6,000-patient base, rounding daily on 30-40+ patients in the hospital, participating in general surgery, and delivering babies.

I briefly hosted a noon Friday Christian radio talk show called Temple Talk. I would either have another Christian physician on with me or would field questions. For a time, my radio show was the #1 Friday noon talk show in Dallas.

After eight years of Family Medicine, I earned with CME and experienced the title Fellow of the American Academy of Family Practice (FAAFP).

 

Q: How did you decide to get back into emergency medicine?

A: Dr. Terry Mitchell

At a TMA meeting, I came across a booth recruiting for an Emergency Medicine Physician in Sulphur Springs.

I struggled for about three months, deciding to close my Family Practice and change to Emergency Medicine.

 

Q: What has been your professional experience in the field of emergency medicine?

A: Dr. Mitchell

I was 13 years in Sulphur Springs, 11 as Medical Director of Emergency Services and a two-county EMS system.

The last eight years, the local EM Physicians owned the contract with the hospital.

Then another administrator put out bids to see if the hospital could have a lower subsidy payment to the physician group. That is when I left and became Medical Director for several hospitals from 1-4 years each. I served at Center, Nacogdoches, Paris, and Bonham, Texas.

I became an Emergency Physician too late to be allowed to sit for the boards. However, considering my leadership and Emergency Medicine experience and serving in and being president of a nine-county Regional Trauma Committee. The American College of Emergency Physicians opened the door for only one year for a Legacy pathway to Fellowship. I applied and received the title of Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians (FACEP).

 

Q: What or who has been your most significant influence or your mentor?

A: Dr. Mitchell

My physician father, Dr. Glenn Mitchell, was the most substantial influence on my practice of medicine. After him, I would have to say it was the leader of the residency program, Dr. Harold Prussner and Dr. Presley Joe Mock with whom I precepted twice.

He told me that MD stands for

“Make a decision” and said, “don’t just stand there; do something.”

Dr. Terry Mitchell Outside Altus ER Waxahachie Building

Q: What would you say is your biggest achievement to date – personal or professional?

A: Dr. Mitchell

My most significant achievement to date is becoming and growing as a Christian. Nothing compares. Another is bringing home just under 200 tennis trophies. I still find it hard to fathom, making it through medical school. It was really hard.

 

Q: What is your mantra as a physician?

A: Dr. Mitchell

My mantra as an Emergency Physician is:

  1. To see people as Jesus sees them. Matthew 9:36 But when He (Jesus) saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. I want to see the people and have compassion for them.

  2. To be like Andrew, Peter’s brother, and find an inadequate solution for a problem and then have Jesus expand it to meet people’s needs. John 6:5-13 A multitude had followed Jesus, and the crowd needed feeding. Andrew found a boy with 5 biscuits and 2 fish, “but what are these among so many?” They gave these to Jesus who blessed the food and distributed enough to feed about 5,000 men plus women and children, and the 12 disciples each had a basket full left over. I look to Jesus to multiply the good that I do with the little I have to give, to increase my wisdom to order the needed tests and/or treatments.

  3. I want to touch the untouchable. Matthew 8:2-3. And behold, a leper (outcast due to a very contagious skin disease) came and worshiped Him, saying “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Then Jesus put out his hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. One day I read this, and my wife looked at me and said; “It is a very good work that you do.” I touch those considered untouchable.

 

Q: Let’s talk about how you came to be a part of the Altus Emergency Centers family.  How did you first hear about Altus Emergency?

A: Dr. Mitchell

I came to Altus when the Administrator at Bonham brought in a new management group, that was going to lower our pay.

I looked to see where I would go next in an Emergency Medicine newspaper add and was practicing in Altus Lumberton the month it opened. Three other Bonham physicians followed me, and 3 of the 4 of us are still together in Altus Waxahachie.

I was with Altus Lufkin and am still on staff with CHI St. Luke’s who took over the freestanding facility. I have had shifts in all the Altus Emergency Centers.

I was the first physician to work in the Waxahachie facility. I left to try my hand in occupational medicine, but now am back and will be serving as the Altus Waxahachie Medical Director.

 

Q: What is your management style? How do you like to communicate with your team?

A: Dr. Mitchell

My management style will change based on the person and the need. I like to communicate in person, by phone, and by text or e-mail.

When dealing with physician behavior, I often ask questions until I get them to say what I want to tell them. I have found this an excellent way to change physician behavior.

If I need to give negative feedback, I often use the sandwich technique with the bread being good stuff about them and the meat of the issue is the bad stuff. They then get good-bad-good. And I do not offer criticism without a solution.

 

Q: What is your bedside manner like?

A: Dr. Mitchell

I had thought about buying a home and naming it “Bedside Manor.” I worked hard to make my bedside manner better.

I have also written instructions to help other physicians from what I have learned. I show the caring and compassion that I really have and do quality education.

I spend a lot of time explaining the “why” when I see patients who are not going to get their expectations met due to best medical practices. I essentially reframe their expectations, and usually have them leave the ER saying, “thank you, doctor.”

I often sit to get my head as low or lower than theirs. I try and never talk with my hand on the doorknob. I want them all to feel I spent adequate time with them for their concerns.

 

Q: What is a typical day at Altus like?

A: Dr. Mitchell

A typical day at an Altus Freestanding Emergency Center is one of adequate time with the patient. Often being able to go in with the nurse during triage and nursing assessment and getting an earlier start with any orders needed; and an earlier discharge from the ER.

There is usually adequate stand-by time to rest, enabling 24-hour shifts. During the day, I use the stand-by time to call patients seen the day before, as we all do. I check to see how they are doing if they are having any problems with getting medications or follow up appointments. I answer any questions they have from the visit, and rarely call in additional medicine they may need.

 

Q: How would you describe the company culture here?

A: Dr. Mitchell

I have experienced the company culture to be like one of family. Everyone seems to work well together, delivering quality and speedy medical care. I still work at hospital facilities occasionally, and the lack of a sense of urgency and speed of care stands out when compared to Altus.

 

Q: What do you love most about working with Altus Emergency?

A: Dr. Mitchell

What I love most about working with Altus is both the family atmosphere and the quality and quantity time I have to spend with patients.

This is way different than hospital Emergency Medicine. There is time to build stronger relationships with both patients and the ER staff.

 

Q: What advice would you give to recent new staff?

A: Dr. Mitchell

Advice for new staff is to reset thinking to one of concierge Emergency Medicine. Door to Doc time is the #1 indicator of patient satisfaction, so get in the room as early as possible. Do this if even to tell them you know they are there and that you are involved in a complicated case and you will be with them as soon as you can.

Also, listen to the nurses. You never have to follow their suggestions, but if you do not consider them, you are making a mistake. They observe all of us in similar situations and may have seen something that works better. Always listen to them and treat them with respect. If you decide against their advice, informing them of why goes a long way to keep the family feeling. And there is time to do this at Altus.

 

Q: Do you have any cherished Quotes from management or coworkers about your excellent work?

A: Dr. Mitchell

I have a stack of notes given to me from hospital staff and patients at home about how my work is appreciated.

One nurse wrote,

“I feel like when you are here that there is nothing that can come in that you cannot handle.”

I have had comments about how calming I can be in a critical situation. One physician calling back patients seen the previous day told me, “your patients love you”.

 

We can’t thank you enough, Dr. Mitchell, for your generosity in sharing so much of your personal and professional life with us.

We are incredibly excited to see you continue doing such extraordinary work for the community of Waxahachie, and our Altus Emergency family.

You deserve the best care in an emergency.  When seconds can make a difference between life and death, it’s good to know that you can count on top notch ER physicians such as Dr. Mitchell at Altus ER Centers.

Altus ER Waxahachie Texas

Altus Emergency Centers Texas

is Here for You 24/7

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, and fractures, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.  After You Receive Quality ER Care, our Patient Advocate will help ensure Hassle-Free Billing.

Our Promise is to Always Help Find the Best Solutions in Benefit of our Patients from the time you walk-in without having to wait in line and when you are personally assisted with the billing process.  We are here to help you get well and stay well!

What It Takes to Be an Altus ER Physician

What It Takes to Be an Altus ER Physician

Starting this month, Altus Emergency Centers will add its own in-house physicians’ group. This means we will directly employ every doctor working in our facilities.  Only the cream of the crop will qualify to be an Altus ER Physician.

Working in an emergency room is one of the most demanding jobs in the world. The demands are both physical and mental, after all, people’s lives are at stake, and not everyone is up to the task.

From the first day since we opened our doors, our first and most important goal has been to offer the highest standard of emergency care to our patients.

Our commitment to our patient’s wellbeing is the reason why we have gone to extremes to ensure our doctors are the most qualified for the job.

What is an ER Doctor?

Before we discuss what it takes to be an Altus ER Physician, let’s get to know the role of an ER doctor.  An emergency room doctor is one who knows about every aspect of the human body because their job is to diagnose, stabilize, and provide treatment to any patient who comes into the ER.

ER physicians are trained to handle acute (severe or critical) medical problems. They are also trained to use various medical devices to stabilize and save the lives of their patients.

These are some of the tasks ER doctors routinely perform:

  • Evaluate and examine patients
  • Order tests and blood work to help diagnose the patient’s condition
  • Order or administer medications to treat the patient’s injury or illness
  • Consult with other doctors, nursing staff and support staff to decide on the best treatment course for the patient
  • Explain procedures, diagnoses, tests, and available treatments to patients and their families
  • Work closely with specialists who will care for the patient once they leave the emergency r

What Training Do ER Physicians at Altus ER Have?

At Altus Emergency Centers, we hold our staff to very high standards, especially our doctors and nurses. When it comes to selecting the right person to work at any of our facilities, we, of course, take into consideration the preparation and experience of each physician.

Training to become an emergency room physician is not easy; it takes time and a lot of hard work. To become an ER doctor, a person must:

 

1. Earn a College Degree

Aspiring doctors need a bachelor’s degree to apply to medical school. Although there is no specific major required, its vital that they complete science-related courses in their bachelor’s degree program

 

2. Pass the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

Medical schools use the scores from this exam to determine if the applicant has the critical thinking, problem-solving, and writing skills necessary to succeed in the field of medicine.

 

3. Earn a Medical Degree

Medical degrees involve four more years of studies. The first two years focus on theory and laboratory experiences. While the last two years include clinical rotations in different fields. During this time, students will begin working with patients, taking medical histories, and completing necessary procedures under the supervision of experienced physicians.

4. Obtain a Medical License

Before they can practice medicine, medical doctors need to obtain a license from the state of Texas. To do this, doctors must pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE).  The examination tests applicants on their ability to care for patients and work in a medical and emergency setting.

 

5. Complete a Residency

An emergency medicine residency lasts three years and consists of:

  • Conferences: These conferences cover specific areas of emergency medicine, like cardiovascular or pulmonary treatment.
  • Lab Work: During lab work, ER doctors are trained in specific skills like airway management, repairing of wounds, and orthopedics.
  • Clinical Simulations: Working with mannequins’ students are placed into simulated situations that they might face on a day-to-day basis in a healthcare setting.

 

Additionally, emergency medicine residency also includes:

  • Peer reviews
  • Seminars
  • Supervised clinical training in a real-world environment.

 

6. Complete a Fellowship

Emergency room physicians who wish to specialize in a subspecialty must complete a fellowship program.  Subspecialties include:

  • Pediatric emergency medicine
  • Pain management
  • Disaster medicine
  • Toxicology

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

What Makes Altus ER Physicians Outstanding?

As we mentioned before, we hold our doctors to higher standards than those established by the state board.

There is more to a good doctor than just their academic accomplishments. Our doctors stand out because, in addition to being gifted physicians, they are extraordinary human beings.

 

Here are just a few of the qualities that are expected from an Altus ER Physician:

  • Confidence
  • Humility
  • Great Communication Skills
  • Professionalism
  • Strong Work Ethic
  • Compassion
  • Empathy
  • Honesty
  • Courage
  • Respect
  • Optimism
  • Passion

 

At Altus Emergency Centers, we are always looking for great talent. If you believe you have what it takes to become part of our family, we invite you to apply at ERjobs@altusemergency.com.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas

is Here for You 24/7

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, and fractures, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.  After You Receive Quality ER Care, our Patient Advocate will help ensure Hassle-Free Billing.

Our Promise is to Always Help Find the Best Solutions in Benefit of our Patients from the time you walk-in without having to wait in line and when you are personally assisted with the billing process.  We are here to help you get well and stay well!

PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS to ER CARE!

Billing and Coding Associate Job Opening

Billing and Coding Associate Job Opening

This is an excellent opportunity to work with one of the finest Freestanding Emergency Centers in Texas.

Altus Emergency Center in Lumberton is currently seeking to fill the position of: Billing and Coding Associate.  Please review the following job requirements and submit your resume to ERjobs@altusemergency.com.

 

Billing and Coding Associate Requirements and Responsibilities

Coding

  • Reviews all documentation to ensure coding by provider is supported
  • Apply all coding rules and use of CPT and ICD codes and appropriate use of modifiers
  • Assign and sequence all codes for services rendered
  • Where providers have made errors or missed coding, use as educational tool for the provider(s)
    • Contact physicians and other health care professionals about treatment and/or diagnostic tests given to patients with regard to coding procedures
  • Assist in educating physicians and staff in requirements of documentation for proper reimbursement.
  • Assists all staff with coding as required
  • Constant review and recommends updates on coding changes
  • Assists in conducting internal audits of patient charges and corresponding documentation.

 

Billing:

  • Submit claims and work rejects for claims submission, daily
  • Check for data errors.
  • Determine problem that resulted in a rejected claim, resolve, advise on procedural changes to implement and prevent further such rejects.
  • Resubmit/refile and appeal rejected claims, as is necessary.
  • Check coding and post charges
  • Adhere to contractual requirements of Medicare, Medicaid, and any in network managed care plans
  • Ability to process and understand out of network claims
  • Scrub and submit claims
  • Run daily update and insurance exception reports
  • Review and correct, re-scrub rejected claims

 

Accounts Receivable and patient statements:

  • Runs A/R report
  • Works accounts receivable
  • Prepare patient statements

Collections:

  • Patient collections
  • Responsible for follow-up on unpaid claims and process of sending patients to collections as per office policy.
  • Work collection of past due accounts weekly, follow-up on payment arrangements

 

OTHER DUTIES

  • Assist patients with questions regarding insurance and/or account balances
  • Work with patients who have insurance claim difficulties.
  • Assist with pulling and filing of patient charts
  • Works Revenue Cycle Director to provide information necessary to generate financial statements and to accomplish fiscal audits and reimbursement studies.

PERSONAL QUALITIES AND CHARACTERISTICS

  • Ability to communicate well with people both in personal contacts and on the phone.
  • Professional, friendly appearance
  • Good organizational skills
  • High accuracy and precision.
  • Methodical.
  • Pays attention to detail
  • Ability to recognize, evaluate, solve problems and correct errors.
  • Skills in establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with other employees, patients, insurance carriers and the public.
  • Ability to maintain patient and office confidentiality.
  • Verbal & written communication skills
  • Skill to effectively negotiate with patients, guarantors & other parties for payment of claims
  • Effective interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work independently with only general supervision
  • Problem solving skills

Professional Requirements

  • Certification Required
  • Minimum 3 years’ experience required
  • Commitment to high level of customer experience

Apply Today!

Be a part of the winning team at Altus Emergency Centers!

In order to apply for the position of Billing and Coding Associate, please submit your resume to ERjobs@altusemergency.com.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas

is Here for You 24/7

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, and fractures, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.  After You Receive Quality ER Care, our Patient Advocate will help ensure Hassle-Free Billing.

Our Promise is to Always Help Find the Best Solutions in Benefit of our Patients from the time you walk-in without having to wait in line and when you are personally assisted with the billing process.  We are here to help you get well and stay well!

PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS to ER CARE!

An Interview with Eddie Rescue

Eddie Rescue, the most loveable, huggable friend you’ll ever have.

Introducing – Eddie Rescue, our most cuddly member of the Altus Emergency Center Team

We have featured many extraordinary people through our “Meet the Altus Emergency Team” section.  However, today we are proud to introduce you to our most huggable member of our Altus ER Team, our very own Eddie Rescue.  Eddie “the Teddy” Rescue is not your ordinary bear.  Having been with Altus Emergency from the very beginning, he has become the very essence of laughter and cheer that normally doesn’t hang out around your usual ER.

Everywhere he goes, Eddie is always ready for making you happy.  This gentle soul will produce smiles from adults and children alike.  We have asked him many times, “How do you do it, Ed?”.  With a twinkle in his eyes, he will just smile.  That Eddie is just too smart to give away his secret sauce to making people happy, but we don’t mind!  We’re just thrilled to have him on our team.

In a rare opportunity, Eddie Rescue took us up on our request for a one on one interview.  We couldn’t believe it!  Our legendary friend and mascot will finally open up to his fans so we can know, just who is Eddie Rescue?

We invite you to get to know Eddie Rescue, our fun-loving mascot. You’ll see him dancing away at events, in photos or in videos, reading books to children, and intuitively knowing when you really can use a hug to make it all better.

An interview with Eddie Rescue is the latest in the series of Altus Staff articles dedicated to the amazing people behind what is #TeamAltusER:  We’re Not Neighbors, We’re Family!

Studies and Formation

Eddie Rescue graduated from the prestigeous Build a Bear University.  He was hired right out of school and has been with us at Altus Emergency for the past five years.  When asked why he decided to become a mascot he admitted,

“There are only a few special elite mascots that get picked from my school. When I was presented with this honor, I knew I had to take it.” – Eddie Rescue

Meet Mr. Eddie Rescue

Ed on Life, Happiness, and the Future

We enjoyed a lovely chat with Eddie, an East Texas native. He shared about his family, hobbies, and passions. The following are some highlights of our interview.

Q: “Thank you so much for taking time from your busy schedule, Eddie.  So tell us, where are you from?”

A:  Eddie:

 I was born in the East Texas Woods just on the other side of Silsbee.

Q:  “Oh, I hear it’s beautiful out there. Growing up, what or who has been your biggest influence or your mentor?”

A:  Eddie:

My Biggest influence has to be from Tony The Tiger from Kellogs Frosted Flakes, Heeeees Great!

Q:  “Tell us a little about your family life. Is there a Mrs. Eddie Rescue?”

A: Eddie:

Its Complicated.

Q: “I understand.  It happens a lot these days. What are your hobbies and interests?

A: Eddie:

First and foremost, I love to see the kids smile at all my locations. When I am not working at Altus, I like to fish on the coast, travel to Alaska to catch salmon. I help with the local bee companies by eating a lot of honey.

Q: “Wow!  They all sound like a lot of fun.  That leads me to my next question is if you could get free tickets anywhere where would you travel to?

A:  Eddie:

I would like to travel to Nashville, Tennessee. I love to dance and country music is some of my favorite tunes.

Q: “Well, we’ll just have to keep that in mind. What would be your dream come true?”

A:  Eddie:

Going Viral on social media would a instant hit. I think that could get me to a Tony The Tiger Status.

Q: “What do you love most about working with Altus ER?

A: Eddie:

(Getting up and giving me a big hug.)  I love all of you guys so much!

That Eddie!  He’s the most loveable bear I have ever met in my life.  We are truly honored to have him on our team!  Thank you, Eddie Rescue, we know that you will be bigger than Tony the Tiger someday.  We are and will remain your biggest fans.  The next time you see Eddie, remember, there’s no need to be afraid during an emergency, just head for your closest Altus ER and we’ll be happy to take care of you.

Keep up with Eddie by liking and following our Altus ER Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

Altus ER. We-Have-Dedicated-Specialists

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks and fractures, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.

Meet the Lumberton Administrator Richelle Blackburn

An Interview with the Lumberton Administrator Richelle Blackburn

Introducing – Richelle Blackburn, our caring and respected Administrator at Altus Emergency Center Lumberton.

Administrator, Richelle Blackburn heads our spirited team at Altus Emergency Center in Lumberton.  Since its establishment in Lumberton in 2013, this freestanding emergency center has been a beacon of hope for thousands of families who would have had to drive long distances to get high-quality emergency care.  Rather than arriving at Lumberton, it blossomed out of it as most of its staff made up of talented locals on a quest to bring the best to their community.  Heading this team is administrator Richelle Blackburn who is a highly active participant in community awareness and prevention campaigns as well as just for fun to bring out smiles.  Our administrator, Richelle Blackburn has helped inspire the team to participate in charity campaigns for flood and hurricane victims, to the promotion of better health awareness, and fun family-friendly activities such as the Trunk or Treat and the upcoming Touch a Truck.  Stay on top of these by visiting our Altus ER Lumberton Facebook and Instagram pages.

We invite you to get to know administrator Richelle Blackburn, our fearless leader that gets to know each of the staff members on a personal basis as well as the patients. It’s her smiling face that you will see in photos with the Lumberton Chamber of Commerce, with the Lumberton ISD and on funny videos trying to explain how to prevent an accident or an illness in a way that can be understood by all of us and not just the doctors.

“Richelle is the care giver of the group. Richelle takes much pride for the patient care as well as making sure staff is given their needs at facility. This creates a both win win for patient and staff. She is the reason for great customer service satisfaction and was meant to lead a healthcare facility. She cares for our health!”

– Garrett Syphrett, MBA

Meet the Lumberton Administrator is the latest in the series of Altus Staff articles dedicated to the amazing people behind what is #TeamAltusER:  We’re Not Neighbors, We’re Family!

Here is Richelle Blackburn accompanied by Sara Reyes Nurse Manager, Jodi Gentz LVN, and Jesse Young LVN.
Here is Richelle Blackburn accompanied by Sara Reyes Nurse Manager, Jodi Gentz LVN, and Jesse Young LVN.

Studies and Formation

Richelle Blackburn graduated with a Criminal Justice Degree from Lamar University in Beaumont with plans to pursue a law degree.  She is certified in both Medical Coding and Practice Management.  She admits, “I am still considering pursuing that law degree in the near future.”

Great Values Backed by Solid Experience.

Prior to her role at Altus ER, Richelle was a Practice Manager for Dr. Erlinda Punsalan for 20 years.  After the doctor retired in 2012, she joined the Altus ER team.

Richelle has 25 years in the healthcare industry, with over 10 years in healthcare management.

“We rise by lifting others!”

Lovely Lady from Nederland

An Interview with Richelle, get to know her!

We enjoyed a lovely chat with Richelle Blackburn, born and raised in Nederland, Texas. She shared about her family, hobbies, and passions. The following are some highlights of our interview.

Click on each gallery photo for more details.

Q: “What you love most about living in Nederland, Texas?”

A:  Richelle:

I live close to all 4 of my sisters and my mom.  I could not imagine living anywhere else, I love and admire my family so much and I am so blessed to be close to them everyday.

Q:  “Why did you decide to go into healthcare administration?”

A:  Richelle:

Honestly, I had no interest in Healthcare at all as a career choice.  In 1992 while I was in college pursuing my Criminal Justice degree I interviewed for a position with Dr. Erlinda Punsalan.  While completing my degree, I truly grew to love the patients and the staff as well as Dr. Punsalan and from there my healthcare career grew!

Q:  “What or who have been your biggest influences or your mentor?”

A:  Richelle:

My mom! She is a beautiful, loving, kind soul who has overcome all obstacles in her life! She taught me to work hard, never give up, and that I can achieve anything I set my mind on!  An AMAZING role model for me!

Q: “What is your secret to success?

A: Richelle:

Am I successful?  I honestly have never considered my self successful rather blessed that I get the opportunity to provide leadership to others.

Q: “What is your management style? How do you like to communicate with your team?

A:  Richelle:

This was a hard one for me to answer so I had to ask others to help me provide an answer.  Inspirational Management! This is their answer! Truthfully, I aspire to motivate my staff to be the best they can be both in and outside of the workplace!

Q:How would you describe the company culture here?”

A:  Richelle:

“We are family.”

Q: “What is a good day like for you?

A:  Richelle:

Everyday is a Good Day!

Q: “How do you push through your tough times?

A:  Richelle:

My faith!  I know all things are possible through Christ who strengthens me.

Q: “What is your secret to success?

A:  Richelle:

Am I successful?  I honestly have never considered my self successful rather blessed that I get the opportunity to provide leadership to others.

Q: “What do you love most about working with Altus ER?

A:  Richelle:

Several things: The care we are able to provide for our patients and community.  My AMAZING staff who care for our patients with compassion and kindness every single day!

Q: “What do you do when you get time off?

A: Richelle:

Travel! I love to go on cruises, it is my time to truly relax and disconnect.

Q:  “How would you summarize yourself in four words?”

A: Richelle:

“Always puts others first”.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

Altus ER. We-Have-Dedicated-Specialists

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks and fractures, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.

Women’s Day Words of Wisdom

Wonderful Words of Wisdom for Women’s Day

Today, International Women’s Day, we join in honoring the women in our lives, mothers, daughters, friends, wives, grandmothers, granddaughters, and fellow coworkers.  This year’s theme, #BalanceforBetter couldn’t have been more appropriate as most of us balance life for the better every day. Our ability to multitask goes beyond anything understood by science and we manage to do it with style.  Behind each beautiful smile lies mystery, intelligence, skill, ambition, a caring heart, sense of humor and wisdom to name just a few.  Yet, it would be unfair to generalize as each lady is highly unique.

As we celebrate women’s achievements, where do we start?  Women are involved in nearly every profession and truly are the backbone of our nation.  At Altus Emergency, we are happy to celebrate Women’s Day by sharing the words of wisdom from our very own Altus Emergency Ladies.  We hope you find inspiration and courage from this diverse set of role models.

A picture perfect Women’s Day at Altus Emergency!  In the photo from left to right: Ashley Morgan, Richelle Blackburn, Lauren Frazier, Kris DeVries, Katie Lucas, Kelly Curtis, Lorrie Anna Soffes & Kristin Kappler.

Real Answers from Real Women.

It all happened rather spontaneously as great things tend to occur.  In preparing for the Women’s Day celebration, we took the opportunity to send eight questions to a group of Altus Emergency ladies to share a little about themselves.  What happened was simply magical.  Thank you, ladies for sharing your words of wisdom with us!

1.  How hard is it to make it to the top? What does it take?

Kris:

I will let you know when I get there!!

Lorrie Anna:

Hard work and dedication is what gets you to the top. Patience and Understanding. Compromising. Listening and learning, not just talking. It takes time, be patient.

Kristin:

Still on that journey and taking all the advice I can get!

2.  What advice would you give to your younger self?

Kris:

Enjoy your youth while you can, life happens too fast.

Richelle:

Trust that all things are possible through Christ who strengthens us. Practice patience my child, all things will come in time.

Lauren:

Don’t underestimate your abilities or discount your drive. God is already there waiting on you to arrive wherever you’re headed.

Lorrie Anna:

Negotiate early. No one likes a hot head, cool it down girl!

3.  How do you make time for yourself?

Kris:

I love to get away with my husband so we travel a lot. You have to unplug from work and disengage on a regular basis to maintain a healthy personal and professional life.

Lauren:

I like quiet time, when I can get it. Quiet time recharges me. However, sometime I fall asleep during that time!

Lorrie Anna:

Having to delegate duties sometimes will get you a little bit of time to yourself and away from the Hussle. I can’t do it all, so don’t try to do it all!

Kristin:

I love spending time with family and friends and exploring all that Houston has to offer!

4.  How do you juggle work and home?

Kris:

It is easy for me because I do not have kids.

Richelle:

As a single parent, this can be difficult however, I have been blessed with 5 amazing sisters and a phenomenal mom.  We have always been the strength for one another and our children.

Kelly:

Working full time being a mom is one of the hardest things to balance. You want to spend as much time as possible with your family, be at every event you possibly can, cook, clean, wash clothes, and get the kids ready for bed.

The most important thing to do is take time for yourself. Take that bubble bath, have the candy bar its ok you deserve it.

Remember to leave work at work and home at home. Strive to be the beautiful woman you are!!

Lauren:

Managing work and home is one of my biggest tasks. I spend a great deal of time constantly working to ensure I complete as much as possible during the day and make it home “on time” or within a “reasonable time.” As a result, I am always on a really tight schedule. Additionally, I have put several processes in place to manage home as best as possible, which I constantly tweak. I strive to give my best to my home and professional life.

Lorrie Anna:

I leave work at work and leave home at home. Both are happier that way.

Kristin:

I feel I do a pretty good job of keeping things separate for the most part.

5.  If you could put on a parade for International Women’s Day, which woman would put on the main float?

Kris:

Michelle Obama.

Lori Anna:

My mother, she is the strongest most dedicated person I learned from.

Kristin:

Oprah Winfrey

6.  If you were elected for office, what would be the first thing you do for Texas?

Lorrie Anna:

I would try to help people understand the importance of the ER’s and why they will make a better impact on the communities. How CMS needs to come across and recognize the good that we do.

Kristin:

There is no amount of money in the world that could make me run for office!

7.  What did you first want to be when you grew up?

Kris:

I wanted to be a teacher.

Richelle:

Attorney, may be something I still pursue in the near future.

Lauren:

I originally wanted and attended undergrad to be a doctor.  Ultimately, I chose  to allow more time with my future immediate family and to not be directly responsible for people’s lives. This worked for me, since my husband is a high school band director with a busy schedule.

Lorrie Anna:

Three ring circus Ring Leader!!

Kristin:

I wanted to be a Physician Assistant.

8.  We saved the best for last! What do you like the most about working at Altus ER?

Kris:

Altus is more like a family than a job.

Richelle:

Being the Administrator for Altus ER’s, it is a joy to know that our patients are receiving the best care from all of our staff.  From the time they walk through our doors until the billing process is complete they always have the best treatment from all of our staff.

Kelly:

Here at Altus we are a family. Everyone always has a welcoming friendly face, asking how your day was and if there is anything they can do to help you. BEST JOB EVER!!! So glad to be a part of this beautiful family!!!

Lauren:

What I like most about working at Altus ER is the familial environment and the work everyone puts in to accomplish the remarkable initiatives each year.

Lorrie Anna:

The compassion and sense of family. Almost 11 years with this great company. Because of a great leader, that is the biggest reason to stay! I’m happy and have been given more than my fair share of opportunities!

Kristin:

I love our staff and management team. When you enjoy the people you work with, it makes work feel less like a job!

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

Altus ER. We-Have-Dedicated-Specialists

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, and fractures, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.

Meet the Patient Advocate – Kimberly Gries

Kimberly Gries, Your Patient Advocate

Meet Kimberly Gries, an Altus Emergency Center Patient Advocate.

Kimberly Gries is your best friend after an emergency!  At Altus Emergency, we go beyond getting you fast, quality care; we give you the Patient Advocates. Our ER Trained Physicians get you well, and our Patient Advocates help give you peace of mind.  After receiving medical care, these caring, knowledgeable professionals help take the guesswork from deciphering the billing and insurance claim process.  In an emergency center, having a stellar Patient Advocate department is especially crucial to ensure that each patient is cared for from the moment they walk in and get first-class ER care without the wait, to being available through the entire billing process. At Altus Emergency Centers, we are proud to have Kimberly Gries as our Patient Advocate for Baytown and Lake Jackson.

I highly recommend Altus for any emergency needs. The staff and doctors are amazing and very friendly. Any time myself or a family member has had to go we have always recieved a call to check on us afterward.

David Money

The Patient Advocate is Your Spokesperson, Supporter, Guide & Patient Navigator

Altus Emergency Patient Advocate’s don’t hide behind a desk.  They are Real People You Can Call.

Patient Advocates play an essential role in delivering quality medical care:

  • During your visit, we provide support and guidance

  • After your visit, we help ensure hassle-free billing.

  • In the event of insurance denial, we provide special customer care billing management services.

At Altus Emergency Center, we take pride in employing the most caring and experienced ER Healthcare Staff.  We invite you to get to know Kim Gries, our friendly Patient Advocate serving Baytown and Lake Jackson.  She’s here to help cut through the red tape and help find solutions.  Meet the Patient Advocate is the latest in the series of Altus ER Staff articles dedicated to the amazing people behind what is #TeamAltusER:  The Patient Comes First.

Patient Advocacy Simply Comes Natural to Kim

Get to know Kim Gries, she’s here to help you get the most from your insurance coverage.  As a mother of two, Kim understands firsthand how important it is for Texas families to get hands on assistence when processing insurance claims.  We had the pleasure of chatting with Kim and she shared about working at Altus Emergency and her lovely family.  The following are highlights from our interview.

Get to Know this Houston Native

Q: “Tell us a little about yourself.”

A:  Kim.

I was born in Houston, Texas and moves to Lake Jackson at the age of 12-ish. Growing up I was always a tomboy so fishing, roller blading and skinned knees were a usual thing for me. Having kids of my own now, I can only hope they have as much fun as I did, doing those sorts of things!

Today as an adult, my favorite things include gardening, reading, watching my kids play and spending time with my husband.

Q:  “What about your studies and experience?”

A:  Kim.

I was fortunate enough to attend Texas School of Business in 2007 with studies specializing in medical assisting. That ranges anywhere from working with medical insurance in any medical setting and front office work to blood draws and EKG’s. I really enjoy being on the clerical side, however.

I did my internship in a Neurosurgeon’s office where I was hired on and stayed for almost 9 years to be the surgery scheduler and help resolve patient concerns with insurance preauthorization and verification.

Q:  “Why did you go into healthcare billing?

A:  Kim.

My mother worked as a medical biller for many years in a doctors office and it was always a familiar setting for me (ie. Take your kid to work day) so after high school it only felt natural to follow suit. It’s been interesting to say the least as everyday brings something new and enlightening to the table.

Q: “When did you start at Altus Emergency?

A: Kim.

I began working at Altus Emergency Center in October 2018 at the registration desk. I am extremely thankful of this because I feel better rounded and have a better understanding of the entry and billing process of each patient that comes in. This I believe helps me see all angles better and lets me assist patients at the best of my abilities.

Q: “What do you love about being a part of the Altus Emergency Team?

A: Kim.

The thing I love most about working at Altus is the people. Everyone here is so friendly and always willing to lend a helping hand or ear for that matter. It’s a well-oiled machine and everything runs so smoothly on a daily basis. You can really appreciate that kind of setting after being a stay at home mom for almost 3 years!

Q: “Last of all, what are your biggest accomplishments?

A: Kim.

I’d say my biggest accomplishment would be overcoming some really hard times my husband and I have been through in the last few years, staying a strong married, loving couple and enjoying our 2 young children.

Thank you, Kimberly Gries, for allowing us to get to know you better.

It’s a blessing to have an ER near you, especially during a medical emergency.  A trip to the emergency room shouldn’t be scary, not when it’s filled with caring professionals such as Kimberly Gries. Remember, if you are confused with the insurance process, you are not alone.  Call Kim at the Patient Advocate’s office.  She’s here to help you.

For Peace of Mind, Call Patient Advocate

If you have any questions regarding your billing from Baytown or Lake Jackson, please contact our Patient Advocate Department.

Call us (979)-529-2000 between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm and ask for the Patient Advocate, Kim Gries.

For Lumberton and Waxahachie, please contact Lendall Barker.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

Altus ER. We-Have-Dedicated-Specialists

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, and fractures, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.

Don’t Fall Prey to Insurance Company Fear Tactics

Don’t Fall Prey to the Insurance Company Fear Campaign

A study from the Doctor Patient Rights Project (DPRP) has revealed a disturbing trend amongst large insurance companies.

In the study, the DPRP singled out a company named Anthem Blue Cross – Blue Shield, which through its affiliated networks is the nation’s largest private health insurer. The findings in the study claim that Anthem has been retroactively denying insurance claims for emergency room visits from its clients, especially those who are from low income or rural areas.

The DPRP concluded that the purpose of Anthem’s policy is to make its clients too afraid to go to the ER out of fear that they will not be covered and must pay the whole bill out of pocket, which most patients are unable to do.

This conclusion is widely shared by the physicians and administrative staff of Emergency Rooms across the country as put in evidence by the comment of Dr. Ryan Stanton a critical care and emergency medicine specialist in Lexington, Kentucky,

“The purpose of this program is to spread fear.”

What is Anthem Blue Cross – Blue Shield Doing?

Last year, Anthem started notifying its clients in certain parts of the country, that if their ER visits end with a diagnosis for something that isn’t an emergency, they would be responsible for 100% of the cost of their visit.

The problem with this policy is that most of us don’t have enough medical knowledge or training to self-diagnose before going to the ER. According to The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), there is nearly a 90-percent overlap in symptoms between emergencies and non-emergencies, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (2013). These symptom overlaps make it extremely difficult for any of us to determine the difference between abdominal pain that is life-threatening and abdominal pain that isn’t.

The fear factor that Anthem is creating with their denial policy means more people will choose to wait and see if their symptoms improve before seeking immediate emergency medical attention, a decision that could lead to lifelong disabilities or even death.

PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS!

The Law is on Your Side

The policy is so outrageous and dangerous to the public, that it has even reached the Senate. As reported by CBS News, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, sent a letter to both the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Labor asking them to investigate whether certain health insurers had violated the Prudent Layperson Standard.

The Prudent Layperson Standard which was added to the group and individual health insurance plans in 2010, and it requires health insurance companies to cover emergency room visits based on symptoms and not the final diagnosis. It also eliminates the requirements for prior authorization before seeking emergency care.

In our state, the Texas Department of Insurance requires insurance companies to pay emergency facilities like Altus Emergency Centers, the same way they would bill a facility which is part of the insured’s in-network. In other words, your insurance company should cover the same amount regardless of what type of emergency facility you visit, they cannot provide you with a lower benefit level.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act also added numerous patient protections, most notably, they now require health plans covering emergency services to provide such coverage without the need for prior authorization.

Furthermore, health plans are required to pay for emergency visits for medical situations in which an average layperson believes his or her health is threatened. The final diagnosis should not influence whether the insurer pays for the emergency room visit or not, and insurance companies cannot legally apply the claim towards the out-of-network benefits.

What Can You Do If Your Claim is Denied?

The first thing you should do is contact our Patient Advocate Department. Our staff will review your denial and process an appeal on your behalf; they will submit documentation and justification for any ER treatment that you received.

If you get denied a second time, you still have the option to request an external review by a third-party, which will most likely be the state insurance regulator.

The appeal process is lengthy and labor-intensive because the goal of the insurer is for you to give up. Regardless of how long it takes you should continue with the process because the law is on your side.

Don’t fall victim to these scare tactics being implemented by insurance companies. If you have any concerns about the emergency medical coverage of your health insurance plan, our Patient Advocate can help clear these and even arrange to speak directly to your health insurance agent on your behalf.

Altus Emergency Patient Advocates are here to help you.  We help you decipher the complexity of the medical industry to uncover how it can be most beneficial to you.  We have focused our efforts on helping people better understand their insurance plans and how our billing works.

If you have any questions regarding your billing, please don’t hesitate to contact our Patient Advocate Department.  Please feel free to call 469-383-7361 between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm and ask for the Patient Advocate.

MY EMERGENCY, MY CHOICE!

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

Altus ER. We-Have-Dedicated-Specialists

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, and fractures, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.

Insurance Companies Must Cover ER Trips Involving Traffic Accidents

Insurance Companies Must Cover ER Trips Involving Traffic Accidents

Danger on the Road – Traffic Accident Statistics

With nearly 264 million vehicles registered and over 218 million individuals with a valid driving license, our roads are some of the busiest in the world. This, unfortunately, means traffic accidents are more common than any of us would like.

Annual Car Accidents in The United States

Every year the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issues a briefing based on reported car accidents nationwide. The NHTSA keeps track of injuries, fatalities as well as the factors which might have contributed to the crash such as speeding, alcohol, and distractions.

From these reports we can gather the following statistics:

  • There are more than 6 million reported car crashes a year in the United States
  • An estimated 37,133 people lost their lives in motor vehicle-related accidents in 2017
  • 18,720 people have died between January and June of 2018 according to the National Safety Council

The Impact of Motor Vehicle Accidents in Texas

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the state of Texas has the most traffic fatalities of any state in the country.

  • In 2017 there were 3,407 fatal car crashes reported
  • 3,722 people lost their lives due to a car crash related incident in 2017
car accident trauma emergency

Most Common Causes of Traffic Accidents

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is the leading cause of road accidents in America. Drivers can become distracted by several things while driving:

  • Cell phones
  • Eating
  • Drinking from a mug or bottle
  • Talking
  • Children
  • Pets in the car

Not paying attention to the road while driving can have dire consequences; the NHTSA reports 3,166 fatalities in distraction-affection crashes in 2017. There were also an estimated 795 deaths due to drowsy driving last year.

In addition to these tragic deaths, thousands of victims who experience long-term disabilities.

Speeding

The second most common cause of road accidents in the United States is speeding, and because most of these accidents typically occur at high speeds, it is also a significant cause of traffic accident-related deaths with an estimated 9,717 deaths in 2017.

Drunk Driving

Road accidents involving drunk drivers are another major cause of injuries and fatalities, especially during the weekend and holidays. Drinking slows down our response time and our ability to focus on the road, and it can also make us drowsy.

According to data from the NHTSA,

“29% of the total fatalities of road accidents were in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes.”

In our own state of Texas:

Out of the 3,722 road accident deaths in 2017, 1,468 or 39% of them occurred in an accident caused by a drunk driver.

Getting Prompt Medical Attention Can Help Save A Life

According to the CDC for every person killed in a road accident,

“8 were hospitalized, and 100 were treated and released from the Emergency Room.”

Anyone who is involved in a severe motor vehicle accident should be taken to the nearest Emergency Room for evaluation, given that some injuries can only be diagnosed with advanced imagining technology.

During a crash, victims might have suffered internal injuries or head trauma that if not treated promptly can lead to long-term disabilities or even death.

Some injuries are more time-sensitive than others, in these cases it is better to transfer the patient to a Free-Standing ER facility such as any of the Altus Emergency Centers where they can be treated by a licensed emergency physician right away, rather than transport them to a Hospital ER where their treatment might be delayed due to overcrowding issues.

It’s important to remember that insurance companies are obligated to offer emergency room coverage in their policies. If you are involved in a car accident and need to go to the emergency room, your insurance policy will cover your visit.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

Altus ER. We-Have-Dedicated-Specialists

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, and fractures, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.

Meet the Patient Advocate – Lendall Barker

Lendall Barker, Your Patient Advocate

Introducing – Lendall Barker, the Altus Emergency Centers Patient Advocate.

During a medical emergency, it’s a relief to get fast, quality care but does it end there?  After receiving medical care, there is an entire billing process that can be very confusing.  For this reason, it is vital to provide a service to guide the patient and unravel the complex web that is the billing and insurance claim process.  In an emergency center, having a stellar Patient Advocate department is especially crucial to ensure that each patient is cared for from the moment they walk in and get first-class ER care without the wait, to being available through the entire billing process. At Altus Emergency Centers, we are proud to have Lendall Barker as our Patient Advocate.

“Excellent medical service! Doctors were timely and professional. Not a long wait to get seen and dealing with the patient advocate Lendall Barker was outstanding. He was so attentive to my needs and concerns and he made it a breeze. I didn’t have to stress about insurance. I totally appreciate him and his pleasant demeanor. He was so kind and easy to talk to. I’d suggest Altus to anyone! They are great!

— Jessica Smith

Altus Emergency Centers prides itself on employing the most caring and experienced ER Healthcare Staff.  We invite you to get to know Lendall Barker, our friendly Patient Advocate happy to help guide you through a complex process and help find solutions.  Meet the Patient Advocate is the latest in the series of Altus ER Staff articles dedicated to the amazing people behind what is #TeamAltusER:  The Patient Comes First.

Lendall Knows Insurance Inside Out

You can count on Lendall Barker, our Patient Advocate break down the billing jargon to get the most from your insurance coverage.  Lendall is licensed in Insurance Sales and Insurance Billing, as well as experienced in tax preparation allowing him to give a knowledgeable and insightful perspective.

The Patient Advocate is more than just a valuable resource, it’s people that care and will do their very best to help you.

Getting Back to Good Old Fashioned Values

In an age that everyone hides behind automation, it’s rare to actually get a person on the phone to help when you need it.  Our Patient Advocate is the one you can call.  We were happy to find Lendall Barker as he believes in that old-fashioned warm, personal approach to assist and guide.  Our patients find it refreshing.

I love working for Altus ER because;

My life has taken many turns  in this world I have been blessed to work in fields that have taken me of the poorest to the riches that life has to offer. I truly believe that I found this position so that I can help others and pay back what I have been so blessed to learn.”

– Lendall Barker

Who is the Patient Advocate?

Get to know the Patient Advocate from Waxahachie.

We enjoyed a lovely chat with Lendall.  He was happy to share about his family, hobbies, and passions. The following are some highlights of our interview with Mr. Barker.  A warm, kind guy with a sense of humor that’s all heart.

Q:  “Tell us a little about yourself”

A:  Lendall.

Married 22 years live in Waxahachie for 32 years I enjoy helping people and giving back what I have been blessed to learn while here on this earth both good and bad.

Q:  “How about your family?”

A:  Lendall.

Raised two girls now with two children each of their own so they are getting back what they put us through. (Just kidding!) Two very good girls. Most my family is deceased which gives me my unique knowledge of the medical field.

Q:  “What do you do when you’re not helping patients?

A:  Lendall.

That would be cooking, fishing and bowling but not in that order.

Thank you, Lendall Barker, for helping us spread the word.  If you are confused with the insurance process, you are not alone.  Call your friend, Lendall at the Patient Advocate’s office.  He’s here to help you.

For Peace of Mind, Call Patient Advocate

If you have any questions regarding your billing, please contact our Patient Advocate Department.

Call us 469-383-7361 between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm and ask for the Patient Advocate.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

Altus ER. We-Have-Dedicated-Specialists

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, and fractures, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.

HEALTH NEWS, EVENTS & MORE.

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🦟 ⚠️ The @TexasDSHS recently confirmed the 1st human case of the West Nile Virus for 2019.
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👨‍⚕️ Learn how to Prevent Common Mosquito-Borne Illnesses.
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🇺🇸 GOD BLESS AMERICA! Land of the Free, Because of the Brave!
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🚨WHY NO WAIT TIME SAVES LIVES. 🚨 Reagan & Richelle talk about how time is NOT on your side during an emergency.
🏃‍♂️💨 The Sooner You get Care, the BETTER. bit.ly/time-sensitive-emergencies

👨‍⚕️“We’ve done it all, strokes, brain bleeds, heart attacks, gunshot wounds, delivered babies, we’ve removed nails from people’s heads, laceration, we’ve had no issues. 🚁 For specialty or critical cases, we have the capacity to transfer patients by Air Rescue helicopter.”

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