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Most Common Food Allergies

Most Common Food Allergies

It is vital to get to the the most common food allergies to help avoid an emergency.  When we think about food allergies, we tend to limit them to peanuts, shellfish, and gluten, however, there is a long list of food allergy triggers, and because symptoms tend to mild in most cases you may not know you are experiencing an allergic reaction.

Food allergies are a lot more common than we think, this condition affects some 15 million Americans especially children, according to statistics 1 in every 13 kids in America has a food allergy, and every 3 minutes a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency room.

As part of Altus Emergency Center’s educational efforts during Food Allergy Action Month, we have compiled a list of the most common food allergies and their symptoms, to help you recognize this potentially deadly condition.

What are Food Allergies

Like other allergic reactions, food allergies are an abnormal immune response; they happen when the immune system wrongfully identify certain proteins found in food as harmful.

The severity of the allergic reaction ranges from mild symptoms to life-threatening ones, and it can be triggered even by very small amounts of the problem food.

In most instances, the symptoms of an allergic reaction happen a few minutes after exposure, but they can also manifest a few hours later, the most common allergic reaction symptoms include:

 

  • – Swelling of tongue, mouth, or face
  • – Itchy rash
  • – Hives
  • – Difficulty breathing
  • – Low blood pressure
  • – Nausea and vomiting
  • – Diarrhea
Common Food Allergies-Altus-ER

Most Common Food Allergies

Because symptoms can manifest hours after the exposure, sometimes the cause of the allergic reaction is not easily recognized, and if the symptoms are mild most people may ignore them.

The following list includes the most common food allergies, however, there are many more triggers, if you suspect you may have a food allergy, schedule an appointment with a specialist to determine which foods are harmful to you.

 

Peanut Allergy

Peanuts are one of the food allergens most commonly associated with anaphylaxis, a sudden and potentially deadly condition that requires immediate emergency medical treatment.

Allergic reactions to peanuts are one of the most common and deadly food allergies, it affects 1 in every 500 individuals and is responsible for more than half of all deaths from food-related allergic reactions.

Symptoms

  • – Itchy skin or hives that can show in small spots or large welts
  • – Itchy or tingling sensation in the mouth or throat
  • – Nausea
  • – Runny or congested nose
  • – Anaphylaxis
Common Food Allergies-Altus-ER

Shellfish Allergy

Shellfish is the most common and most dangerous food allergens, it is responsible for most of the food allergy related ER visits.

Symptoms

– Stomach cramps

– Indigestion

– Vomiting

– Diarrhea

– Hives all over the body

– Shortness of breath and wheezing

– A repetitive cough

– Tight, hoarse throat and trouble swallowing

– Swelling of the tongue and or lips

–  Weak pulse

–  Pale or bluish skin color

– Dizziness and confusion

 

Corn Allergy

This is a tricky one to recognize since corn and corn by-products are widely used in processed foods, and to make matters worse, it is also difficult to diagnose through standard skin or blood tests, this means that in many cases your doctor may recommend eliminating corn products from your diet to see if your symptoms improve.

Symptoms include

– Hives and Skin Rash

– Stomach cramps, nausea, indigestion, vomiting, or diarrhea

– Stuffy or runny nose

– Headaches

– Asthma

– Anaphylaxis in severe cases

Common Food Allergies

Egg Allergy

This type of allergy affects about 2% of children in the United States, the good news is that studies have shown that 70% of these children outgrow the condition by age 16.

Symptoms

-Skin rash or hives

-Respiratory problems

-Stomachache

-And in very rare cases anaphylaxis

 

Fish Allergy

Unlike most food allergies which develop since childhood, the majority of people who suffer from fish allergies report experiencing them for the first time as adults.

Being allergic to fish does not necessarily mean you are also allergic to shellfish.

Symptoms

– Hives or skin rash

– Stomach cramps, indigestion, vomiting and or diarrhea

– A stuffy or runny nose, and or sneezing

-Headaches

– Asthma

– Anaphylaxis

abdominal-pain-and-cramps

Cow Milk Allergy

Between 2% and 3% of children under the age of 3 are allergic to cow’s milk, around 80% of them will outgrow the condition by age 16 though.

Symptoms

– Hives

– Stomach upset

– Vomiting

– Bloody stools especially in infants

 

Tree Nut Allergy

Almonds, walnuts, pecans, and pine nuts are all tree nuts, and along with peanuts and shellfish, they are the most common allergens linked to anaphylaxis.

Symptoms

– Difficulty Swallowing

– Itching and or swelling of the mouth, eyes, and throat

– Abdominal pain, cramps, nausea, and vomiting

– Nasal congestion

– Shortness of breath

– Anaphylaxis

Peanuts Allergy

When to Visit Our Emergency Centers

For most people food allergy symptoms are mild and can easily be treated with an antihistamine, however, if you or someone you know experiences, shortness of breath, swelling of the tongue or throat, weak pulse, drop in blood pressure, dizziness, confusion, loss of consciousness, or their skin turns pale or a blueish tone, rush them to the nearest Altus Emergency Center.

We recommend you download the anaphylaxis emergency action plan and have your doctor fill it out, carry this with you at all times, it will help our doctors save your life.

Know Where to Go In the Event of an Emergency

Food allergies are both serious and can be life-threatening.  For this reason, by being aware of the symptoms of a possible allergic reaction, you can help save a life.  It may be your own. If you observe any possible symptoms of a food allergic reaction, please keep in mind that you will not have to wait in line at Altus Emergency Centers.  All of our ERs are fully equipped and open 24/7.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

altus emergency 24 hr ER Texas

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, Lufkin, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, 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.

Get Your High Blood Pressure Under Control

National High Blood Pressure Education Month

Control Your Blood Pressure and Live Longer

May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month!  During this month doctors and nurses across the country strive to raise awareness about the importance of keeping your blood pressure under control.

At Altus Emergency Centers, we’re joining the high blood pressure awareness crusade!  We hope to spread the knowledge that uncontrolled high blood pressure is a major factor in the onset of many serious health problems. Fortunately, there is good news. You can control high blood pressure easily with lifestyle changes and medication.

What is Blood Pressure?

The term, blood pressure is usually associated with negativity but it’s very good and necessary.  Our blood is pumped from our heart into our arteries.  It travels to every organ in our body carrying much-needed nutrients and oxygen absolutely necessary for our survival. “Blood pressure” is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of the arteries and other veins.

What-is-Blood-Pressure-Altus-ER-Centers-Texas

Blood pressure is made up of two forces:

  • Systolic Pressure – This is the pressure of the blood as it is pumped out of the heart and into the arteries.
  • Diastolic Pressure – This is the pressure of the blood flowing through the circulatory system during heartbeats.

When you look at your blood pressure reading, the first number indicates the systolic pressure which the second number represents the diastolic pressure, i.e. 120/80.

It is normal for your blood pressure to rise and fall throughout the day, but if it stays high for a long time it can cause damage to your heart and cause other health problems. The condition where blood pressure stays high for extended periods is known as hypertension.

How Does High Blood Pressure Harm the Body?

High blood pressure makes the heart and blood vessels work harder than they should, this, in turn, makes them less efficient.

Over time, high blood pressure will cause damage to the delicate tissues inside the arteries. This creates tiny tears in the artery walls where LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) will start to accumulate forming plaque inside the arteries.  This is a condition known as atherosclerosis. If left untreated, the plaque buildup will create a vicious cycle of high blood pressure as the inside of the arteries become increasingly narrow.

Dangerous-Effects-High-Blood-Pressure-Altus-ER-Centers-Texas

This cycle can ultimately lead to other conditions such as:

  • – Arrhythmia
  • – Heart Attack
  • – Stroke
  • – Vision Loss
  • – Heart Failure
  • – Kidney Disease
  • – Sexual Dysfunction
Additionally, recent studies have shown that uncontrolled high blood pressure in patients between the ages of 45 and 65 is linked to a higher risk for dementia later in life.

How Can You Know If You Have High Blood Pressure?

Regulating-Your-High-Blood-Pressure-Altus-ER-Centers-Texas

Hypertension or high blood pressure usually has no symptoms unless it reaches extremely high levels.  In that case, you may experience a severe headache, chest pain, shortness of breath, vision changes or a nosebleed.

Because there are no symptoms, the only way to know if your blood pressure is above normal is to get a blood pressure reading. Now, don’t get scared if you get a single high reading. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have hypertension. If your reading is high or moderately higher than normal then you should have a few more readings, try to have them at the same time of day.  Then, if the readings continue to be high then make an appointment with your doctor for evaluation and to determine the best course of treatment.  Remember that if you are concerned about a possible spike in your blood pressure any time of the day or night, all Altus Emergency Centers are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  You will not have to make an appointment or wait in line.

There are 5 blood pressure categories:

Blood Pressure Category Systolic Pressure Diastolic Pressure
Normal Less than 120 Less than 80

 

Elevated 120-129 Less than 80

 

Hypertension Stage 1 130 – 139 80-89

 

Hypertension Stage 2 140 or Higher 90 or Higher

 

Hypertensive Crisis Higher than 180 Higher than 120

 

Hypertension develops slowly over time, and there is no cure for it, however, it can be managed through lifestyle changes and medications if needed.

How to Prevent and Manage High Blood Pressure

It has been proven that you can help control your blood pressure by:

  • – Reducing your salt intake,
  • – Adding plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, low-fat dairy products, and fatty fish such as salmon to your diet,
  • – Exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight.

Studies have shown that blood pressure can drop by as much as 5 points with a weight loss of just 5 or 10%.

How-to-Prevent-High-Blood-Pressure-Altus-ER-Centers-Texas

When to Visit the ER

If your blood pressure gets to be 180/120 or higher you are experiencing a hypertensive crisis and should rush to the nearest Altus Emergency Center for treatment.

A hypertensive crisis puts you at a higher risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Altus Emergency Centers are equipped with the necessary medications, equipment, and qualified staff to help all types of medical emergencies. There is no time to lose waiting in line during such time-sensitive moments.  We are open 24/7 with no lines.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

altus emergency 24 hr ER Texas

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, 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.

Altus Gives Scholarship Winners 2022

Altus Gives Scholarship Winners 2022

At Altus Emergency we are delighted to announce the Altus Gives Scholarship Winners 2022! Back in February 2022, we launched our Altus Gives Scholarship Winners 2022 for each of our four locations.  This initiative was done through the Altus Gives program, which was established to help give back to our local businesses and individuals. 

Each location held an Altus Gives Scholarship awards program awarding a total of $2000 in scholarships as a one-time payment.  The awards were given to each of the recipients to pursue a career in healthcare.  

This award was given to each of the recipients as a check to be exclusively used for expenses related to college such as tuition, fees, books, school supplies, and board.  Individuals could apply through the application form directly from our website up until the March 31st, 2022 deadline.  Then, the winners were selected in April 2022 by a review panel appointed by the management of Altus Emergency Centers.

After having been selected, we coordinated with each of the students’ schools to deliver them the good news.  This is how they reacted to having won the Altus Gives Scholarship Winners 2022.  Get to know each of the Altus Gives Scholarship Winners of 2022!

Altus Gives Scholarship Winners 2022 for Baytown

Congratulations to our three Altus Emergency Baytown Scholarship 2022 Winners:

  • Sarah Salinas from Robert E. Lee High School
  • Hannah Wood from Ross S. Sterling High School
  • Mariah Taylor from Goose Creek Memorial High School

The Winners’ Reaction

“I appreciate this reward and look forward to proving that I am a deserving recipient. I plan on using the scholarship to aid my tuition in my future academic career. Your generosity is overwhelming and will allow me to focus on achieving my overarching goal of becoming a physical therapist.”
-Hanna Wood

 

“I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to participate in this scholarship program as it will assist with furthering my education and pursing my career by helping me pay for college tuition.” – Mariah Taylor

Congratulations to the Altus Emergency Baytown Scholarship 2022 Winners!

Altus Gives Scholarship Winners 2022 for Lake Jackson

Congratulations to our three Altus Emergency Lake Jackson Scholarship 2022 Winners:

  • Lindsey Williams from Brazoswood High School
  • Caitlyn Boswell from Brazoswood High School
  • Lauryn Keenom from Danbury High School
  • Elisha Ullrich from Angleton High School

The Winners’ Reaction

“I am thankful to have received the scholarship from Altus. I will be using the money towards my tuition at Texas Tech University as I pursue a degree in nursing. I am very honored to have been chosen for this scholarship. – Caitlyn Boswell

“This scholarship means so much to me because I have not received many in my academic career. So it really means a lot when someone from an outside source recognizes and appreciates my accomplishments. I will use this scholarship towards books and uniforms for my nursing school starting in May. Thank you so much for letting me have this opportunity! – Lauryn Keenom

“Winning the Altus not only helps me pay for college expenses such as books and other necessities, it inspires and encourages me to excel in school and follow my true passion. Working to help others in need is something I have always wanted to do and with Altus giving me their scholarship, makes me realize that they see something in me too. With that being said, this really drives me to pursue a degree in medical field and I can’t wait to see where I go from here! I would personally like to thank y’all again for the opportunity of winning a scholarship. This will help me tremendously as I go off alone and have to buy everything on my own! – Lindsey Williams

Congratulations to the Altus Emergency Lake Jackson Scholarship 2022 Winners!

Altus Gives Scholarship Winners 2022 for Waxahachie

Congratulations to our three Altus Emergency Waxahachie Scholarship 2022 Winners:

  • Emily Essl from Waxahachie High School
  • Chase Pope from Waxahachie High School

The Winners’ Reaction

“The scholarship acts as a reassurance that I am on the right path to becoming an orthopedic surgeon. I plan to use the money on lab fees that come with being a pre-med biology major. Thanks again for your generosity and for helping me pursue my education.” – Chase Pope

Congratulations to the Altus Emergency Waxahachie Scholarship 2022 Winners!

Altus Gives Scholarship Winners 2022 for Lumberton Hospital

Congratulations to our three Altus Lumberton Hospital Scholarship 2022 Winners:

  • Nathan Fox from Lumberton High School
  • Dixie Wooten from Hardin Jefferson High School

The Winners’ Reaction

“This scholarship is so important to me because i will be studying abroad in Panama City, Panama this summer and this scholarship went towards helping me pay for that! ” – Dixie Wooten

“I’d like to thank Altus for awarding me with the scholarship. It is very appreciated. This scholarship means a lot to me because I will be moving away to attend college and it will help me pay for some additional living expenses while being away from home.” – Nathan Fox

Congratulations to the Altus Lumberton Hospital Scholarship 2022 Winners!

We would like to thank everyone for participating in our Altus Gives Scholarship 2022.  A special thanks go out to the staff and schools who helped make this possible.  We could not have done this without your stellar efforts!

To all recent graduates, congratulations on a job well done! At Altus Emergency Centers and Altus Lumberton Hospital we encourage you to strive and accomplish your pursuit of a career of your choice whether it be healthcare or any other path you choose to take. We will be happy to welcome more dedicated and compassionate healthcare professionals to our community. It is an honor to be able to contribute to the future needs of our community through Altus Gives.

 

Altus wishes each and every one of you continued success through your college career and beyond.

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!

Preventing Accidental Injuries at Work and School

SAFETY STARTS WITH YOU!
Preventing Accidental Injuries at Work and School

At Altus Emergency Centers we’re the biggest fans of health and safey.  Today we’d like to show you a few easy pointers on preventing accidental injuries.

When it comes to improving safety measures in our daily lives, we can safely say, it’s a team effort. Every one of us can make small changes to our routines that will help make our workplace, schools, and communities safer.

We will start by looking at the most common preventable injuries, some tips to avoid them and what steps to take if they do happen.

Preventing accidental injuries at work

Preventable Injuries at Work

Repetitive Motion Injuries

Let’s begin preventing accidental injuries at work by learning about and how to avoid repetitive motion injuries.  Constantly making the same movements at our workplace, can create wear and tear on our muscles, tendons, and joints. Repetitive motion injuries don’t always require strenuous activity to develop; work activities such as typing and using the computer can slowly cause damage to our eyesight, increase the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome, and chronic back pain.

The pain you experience is due to damage to the muscles, tendons, and nerves, and can become irreversible if it continues for too long.

work-injury

How to Prevent Repetitive Motion Injuries

  • – If your job requires heavy lifting, follow proper lifting techniques such as:
  • – Lift heavy objects slowly and avoid jerky movements
  • – Face the item, do not twist your body when lifting
  • – Keep the object close to your body, your feet apart and lift with your legs, not your back
  • – Ask for help lifting items that might be too heavy to lift on your own
  • – Use ergonomic tools, like fatigue mats if you must stand for long periods, or adjustable chairs if you work at a desk.
  • – If you have a desk job make sure your workstation is adjusted to your needs, consider things like:
    • – Setting your chair where your back is straight and relaxed
    • – The top of your monitor should be at eye level to avoid having to bend your neck
    • – When typing your elbows should be at your sides, feet comfortably flat on the floor, and keep your wrists straight
Preventing accidental injuries at work

Slips, Falls, and “Walking Into” injuries

When we think of preventing accidental injuries the first thing that comes to mind is the typical slip and fall. Falls are one of the top ER issues for older patients, they can happen to anyone at any age.  Not paying attention where we are walking, as well as misplaced office furniture or equipment can cause a person to slip, fall, or walk into a static object resulting in head, knee, foot, back, or neck injuries, depending on the speed and height at which the fall occurs the wounds could be severe.

How to Prevent Slips, Falls and Walking into Injuries

  • – Maintain a neat and tidy workplace
  • – Mark potential hazards/obstacles like glass doors, windows, and stairs so people can easily see them
  • – Place non-slip rugs in potentially slippery areas like entrances
  • – Use appropriate signs to indicate wet surfaces
  • – Cover and label uneven floor surfaces as well as cords on the floor
wet-floor-sign- prevention

Preventable Injuries at School

Schools are supposed to be these safe havens where we send our kids to learn all about all the wonders of this world; but, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 9.2 million kids visit an emergency room every year for non-fatal unintentional injuries, and many of these occur in schools.  We hope that by focusing on preventing accidental injuries at school, we’ll have safer, happier kids.

The most common school injuries include:

Playground Injuries

While most of us can remember an instance where we suffered a minor injury on the playground when we were children, the reality is kids can be seriously injured while playing. Falling from monkey bars and swings, or tripping over equipment sends some 200,000 kids to an emergency room every year.

Preventing accidental injuries at school

Preventing Playground Injuries

  • – Demand that school playgrounds have soft materials covering the ground such as mulch, sand, or wood chips, this will help lessen the severity of the falls
  • – Kids need to be supervised by adults while on the playground, to ensure they only use equipment that is right for their age
  • – Playground equipment needs to regular maintenance, and guardrails installed to prevent falls
  • – Obstacles like tree stumps and roots should be cleared to avoid children tripping over them

Slipping, Tripping and Falling Injuries

  • – Aside from the embarrassment and bruised egos of kids, falling on stairs or wet surfaces can cause severe injuries like broken arms or legs, and concussions.

Preventing Slipping, Tripping & Falling Injuries

  • – Teach your kids never to run while going down the stairs
  • – Wet surfaces should be clearly labeled
  • – Place non-slip mats at all entrances and exits in the school
preventing playground injuries

Sport Injuries

Sports programs at school are essential for the development of kids. Sports help kids learn how to play as part of a team, embrace challenges, and push themselves to do more and better, but, safety must also be an integral part of every sports program.

Preventing Sports Injuries at School

  • – Kids should have access to proper fitting sports gear, helmets, shoulder pads, shin guards, and footwear
  • – Coaches need to teach proper techniques, and correct postures when necessary
  • – Keep kids hydrated
  • – Take breaks; even young bodies need to rest
preventing school sports injuries

What to do in the Event of an Unintentional Injury

We lead busy lives where we are often distracted by our phones or computers, and sometimes we are so used to our routines that we stop paying attention to our surroundings, this inevitably leads to unintentional injuries.

Depending on the severity of the injury immediate medical attention may be required, here is when you should come into the nearest Altus Emergency Center for treatment:

  • – If you sustained a head injury where you lost consciousness, or are feeling disoriented, tired, have nausea or trouble speaking
  • – Deep cuts where the bleeding does not stop
  • – Severe pain
  • – Severe swelling in the injured area
  • – You suspect you may have broken a bone
Preventing accidental injuries

Altus Emergency Centers cares about preventing accidental injuries.  However, should you or a loved one ever experience an injury, we are the best place have the latest diagnostic technologies and the most qualified emergency doctors and nurses to treat you and your loved ones; remember we are open 24/7 every day of the year.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

altus emergency 24 hr ER Texas

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 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lufkin, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays.

9 Reasons Why an Appeals Process is Needed

9 Reasons Why an Appeals Process is Needed

There is no doubt that suffering an injury or illness that requires a trip to the ER is stressful. Still, it can become a nightmare when your insurance provider decides to deny coverage of treatment received in the emergency room.

Fortunately, the law is on your side. There are effective ways for asking the insurance provider to reconsider their decision and honor their coverage agreement.

patient advocate speaking with injured patient

What is Health Insurance Denial?

Suppose you suffer an accident or sudden illness and need to go to the ER, and you use your health insurance to help cover the costs. In that case, the healthcare facility will prepare a claim on your behalf detailing the treatments provided during your visit.

An insurance denial happens when your health insurance provider notifies you that they won’t cover the cost of your ER visit.

This is frustrating and scary as it potentially means you will have to pay the total cost of the treatment out-of-pocket.

However, there is no need to panic, as you can submit an appeal.

after patient care patient advocate

What is an Appeal?

Appealing means formally asking your insurance provider to reconsider its decision to deny paying for the medical services you received while in the emergency room.

You should know that you have a legal right to appeal an insurance denial. It’s no secret that insurance companies care more about their bottom line than the people they insure.

Therefore, it’s not uncommon for these companies to deny medical care payments or try to charge you out-of-network rates for emergency care services, which is illegal.

Additionally, many insurers try to complicate the appeal process to discourage patients from trying to rectify a wrong. The good news is that you don’t have to go through this process alone. Our patient advocate is here to help you submit an appeal and fight the insurance companies on your behalf.

couple with patient advocate emergency room

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Why is An Appeal Process Necessary?

Here are nine reasons why an appeal process is required:

  1. When the Insurance company processes the patient’s ER visit as an Out of Network Provider instead of an ER visit

The insurance must process the claim as an Emergency Room visit. They can’t just process it as an out-of-network provider.

Insurance companies sometimes try to do this because their plans state benefits are different for out-of-network providers vs. emergency room visits.

  1. When the Insurance Company processes your ER visit out of network, instead of In-Network

State law states that emergency room visits must be processed at the in-network benefit level. This means your insurance company cannot charge you more for emergency care received in a facility that is not part of their network.

  1. When the Insurance Company denies the Emergency Room visit, stating the charges are Not Covered

When you first come to the emergency room, we quote your plan’s benefits to verify eligibility. There is no valid reason for your insurance company to deny payment in these cases as long as your premium payments are up to date.

  1. The Insurance Company applies more to the patient than what they paid

Some insurances will apply a deductible to the claim, even though the benefits clearly state that the deductible does not apply to the ER visit.

  1. If the patient had COVID-related testing, and the Insurance Company applied patient cost-share

Currently, the Insurance companies have waived patient cost-share. Additionally, according to the COVID Cares Act, there is no patient cost-share for the covid testing/encounter.

  1. The insurance company processed the ER claim at an extremely low Allowable Amount, possibly at a Medicare Rate

Most benefit plans state that for Emergency Room visits, the Allowed Amount is a negotiated Rate. Some plans will have a third-party vendor reach out to negotiate the claim.

  1. Insurance Company denied the ER claim for past timely filing

Some insurance companies try to deny payment based on technicalities. We submit proof that all claim information was submitted within the timely filing limit in these cases.

  1. Insurance Company did not pay according to the contract on file

In these instances, we present a copy of the agreement to show that they did not pay according to the signed contract.

  1. Insurance Company did not pay according to the Agreement that we signed with the 3rd party vendor

We will call and make the insurance company aware that we signed an agreement. Then, we will submit a copy of that agreement to the insurance provider.

 

If you’ve recently received a health insurance denial after a visit to one of Altus Emergency Centers, please get in touch with our patient advocate as soon as possible. We can help you submit an appeal.

Our Promise is to Always Help Find the Best Solutions in Benefit of our Patients

Get Peace of Mind, Call Patient Advocate

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

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

Baytown & Lake Jackson Call us (979) 529-2000 between 12:00 pm and 7:00 pm and ask for the Patient Advocate.

kim gries lake jackson and baytown patient advocate

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 emergency room 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 to the 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!

Spring Allergies Survival Guide

Spring Allergies Survival Guide

How to Survive the “April Showers” of Texas

Ah, the joys of spring! We get to enjoy longer warmer days, fresh air, blooming fields, and allergies.

That’s right folks, at Altus Emergency Centers we are getting ready for allergy season. If you’re one of the millions of Americans who experience seasonal allergies, so should you!

learn how to survive spring allergies in Texas

What Causes Spring Allergies

Allergens, those pesky little airborne particles are the ones responsible for sending our immune systems into overdrive causing one or more of the following symptoms: sneezing, a stuffy or a runny nose, watery eyes, coughing and itchy eyes and nose.

The most common allergens this time of year are:

  • – Pollen
  • – Mold Spores
  • – Dust
pollen is the biggest cause of spring allergies

Pollen is by far the biggest spring allergy trigger. It gets wisped into the air by blooming flowers, trees, grasses, and weeds.  Most noteworthy in Spring, these tiny grains get released into the air as part of their pollination process.

This is an entirely natural and beautiful process necessary for the renewal of nature.  Unfortunately, for the countless Americans who suffer from allergies, spring can be a complete torture.  But do you really understand why? First, their immune system mistakenly sees pollen as a dangerous substance. Next, it overreacts by releasing antibodies to combat it.  As a result, you experience those terrible annoying allergy symptoms.

Preventing or Minimizing Your Spring Allergies

Although there are countless medications that can control the symptoms of seasonal allergies, it is always best to avoid getting them in the first place.

spring allergy preparation tips Altus ER Centers Texas
  • – Get a Head Start: If you already know you have spring allergies, then the best thing you can do is to start taking your allergy medication before you show any symptoms. Taking a daily antihistamine or applying nasal spray can reduce the symptoms.
  • – Keep an Eye on Your Local Pollen Count: The level of pollen in the air is higher during breezy days when the wind picks up these microscopic grains, during rainy days the allergens are practically washed away. You can check the pollen count in your area by entering your zip code here.
  • – Avoid the Outdoors: We know this is not the best way to spend these beautiful spring days, but, limiting your time outdoors will help prevent or at least reduce the severity of your allergy symptoms.
  • – Use Your Air Conditioner: Close the windows of your home, office, and car and turn on your air conditioner unit.  You should make sure the filters are cleaned on a regular basis to avoid dust, and mold from accumulating in the vents and filters.
  • – Shower After Any Outdoor Activity: Spring is a lovely time to renew your garden and play outside with your kids. If you know you will be spending time outdoors make sure to take your antihistamine medication before you leave your home, and shower upon returning. Pollen is sticky, and it can cling to your skin, hair, and clothing and then transfer to your couch and rugs where it can continue to cause allergic reactions.
  • – Determine Your Allergy Profile: Pollen from different trees, flowers, grasses, and weeds affect everyone differently, you should make an appointment with an allergy specialist to determine which types of pollen affect you most.

Know When You Need to Visit the ER

For most allergy sufferers spring allergies pose nothing more than annoying symptoms that are usually controlled with some over the counter medications, however, sometimes your antihistamine may not be enough to control them.

severe spring allergy symptoms

Anytime you experience severe and sudden symptoms especially those that make breathing difficult you should seek immediate emergency medical attention.

You could be experiencing anaphylaxis, a type of allergic reaction that is rapid, severe, and could become life-threatening.

  • – Rashes or hives anywhere on the body
  • – Inability to breathe well or at all
  • – A sense of impending doom
  • – Swelling of throat and mouth
  • – Difficulty in swallowing or speaking
  • – Severe asthma
  • – A sudden feeling of weakness (low blood pressure)
  • – Collapse and unconsciousness

Altus Emergency Centers are equipped with the necessary medications, equipment, and qualified staff to control any type of allergic reaction.There is no time to lose waiting in line during this or any type of emergency.  We are open 24/7 with no lines.

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, 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.

Why Kids End up in the ER

Common Reasons Why Kids End Up in the ER

More than 25 million children under the age of 18, visit an emergency room for treatment every year.  The fact that the number of underage patients has been growing steadily makes it vital for parents be aware of the most common reasons why kids end up in the ER and their prevention tips.

One of the biggest challenges for our staff at Altus Emergency Centers is to tend to an injured or sick child as quickly as possible.  It is heartbreaking to see a child in distress, for this reason, we have compiled a list of the most common reasons why kids end up in our ER and offer some helpful advice for parents and caregivers.

how to prevent your child from an emergency

Fevers

The first on our list of reasons why kids end up in the ER is the fever.  While not an actual illness it is an underlying symptom of infection, most fevers are mild and can be treated at home with an over the counter fever reducer medicine. However, if your child has a fever of 104°F or higher or if the fever persists even after administering medication, then you should bring your child to one of our emergency centers for evaluation and treatment.

If you have a baby under 3 months and they have a rectal temperature above 100.4, rush to the nearest Altus ER Center.

Tip: Closely monitor your child’s temperature, if it continues to rise or if you are unable to lower it with over the counter medications, you need to see a doctor. If your doctor’s office is closed keep in mind that we’re Open 24/7 at Altus Emergency Centers.

fevers common reason for a visit to the ER

Breathing Problems

All year long, for one reason or another, many kids end up in the ER due to breathing problems.  This is of special concern with the usual flu epidemics and Texas Spring pollen allergy outbreaks.  Children are especially vulnerable to suffer complications from the flu, and if your child suffers from asthma then they are at a higher risk.

Breathing problems can be caused by a range of conditions, including pneumonia, whooping cough, allergies or as we mentioned asthma.

Signs of a breathing emergency in children include:

  • – Rapid breathing
  • – Barking cough
  • – Trouble breathing even without physical exertion
  • – Severe wheezing or squeaking sound when breathing
  • – Chest and abdomen going up and down at different paces

Tip:  If your child shows any of the above symptoms, you should seek immediate medical attention.  At Altus Emergency, we’re Open 24/7, No Lines.

Breathing problems are a common reason for a visit to the ER

Injuries & Traumas

Kids are unruly and love to run around without regard for their personal safety.  Due to the little daredevil spirit in most, there will be times when even the most vigilant parents won’t be able to prevent a fall.  For this reason, injuries and traumas are common reasons why kids end up in the ER.

The most common injuries and trauma treated at Altus Emergency Centers are:

  • – Sprains and Strains
  • – Broken Bones
  • – Cuts and scrapes
  • – Concussions
  • – Burns

Tip: You don’t want to prevent your child from playing or practicing a sport, but you should make sure they:

  • – Have all the appropriate gear,
  • – Make them wear a helmet when riding their bikes,
  • – Don’t let them climb onto unsafe structures,
  • – Don’t allow them to play with sharp edge toys,
  • – Never let them play in the kitchen while you are cooking.
Injuries and trauma are a common reason for a visit to the ER

Stomach Bugs

School-aged children are exposed to many viruses during a year, but stomach bugs that provoke nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are especially concerning as they can lead to dehydration.

Sometimes the vomiting and diarrhea are not caused by the stomach flu, but, by food poisoning, or an infection such as gastroenteritis.  While the tummy ache is usually treated at home, keep an eye open as some “stomach bugs” may be a sign of some more serious condition.

Tip: You should head to the nearest emergency center if your child shows any of the following symptoms:

  • – Severe, prolonged, or abrupt abdominal pain,
  • – Pain that radiates to the back,
  • – If the abdomen is tender to the touch.
stomach bugs are a common reason for a visit to the ER

Know Where to Go In the Event of an Emergency

Keeping children safe is a priority for every parent and one that is shared by the pediatric emergency staff of all our Altus Emergency Centers, if your child shows any alarming symptoms do not hesitate to bring them in for an evaluation.

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, Lufkin, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, 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.

Altus Patient Advocates: We’re On Your Side

Altus Patient Advocates: We’re On Your Side

A solid Patient Advocate department plays an essential role in delivering a quality medical care. Our ER Trained Physicians get you well, and our Patient Advocates help give you peace of mind. Learn about some of the many ways they can help you as a patient. Our patient advocates are here to help with your deductible and much more!

patient advocate speaking with injured patient

How Can Our Patient Advocate Department Help You?

We are Your Spokesperson, Supporter, Guide & Patient Navigator

 

There are many services our Patient Advocate can help patients and their families with, including:

  • Help resolve grievances and complaints about our services
  • Assist during a crisis
  • Help you communicate with our physicians
  • Make you aware of your rights as a patient
  • Mediate and resolve conflicts with your insurance provider

From this list, perhaps the most important ones are getting to know your rights and making sure your insurance policy covers your medical bill.

kim gries lake jackson and baytown patient advocate

Know When it’s Time to Ask for Help.

When Should You Approach Our Patient Advocate Department?

 

We’re here to help you during your emergency.  Our Patient Advocate Department is available to assist you with anything you require during your visit to our centers especially matters concerning your insurance and billing needs.

We can help you understand the benefits you are entitled to with your insurance policy, we can even speak to your insurance representatives and provide them with any information they request.

Something most people don’t know is that State Insurance Law ensures that true emergencies such as patients injured during a crash, heart attacks, or internal bleeding injuries must be covered by your insurance policy regardless of the treatment facility being In-Network or not.

after patient care patient advocate

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

The Real Job Begins After Your Visit

We help ensure hassle-free billing. Even after you have left our centers, our Patient Advocate Department continues to work on your behalf, by reviewing all EOB (Explanation of Benefits) sent to us by insurance companies to make sure your coverage was applied correctly.

And if your insurance provider did not process your claim correctly, we will help by filing an appeal on your behalf. This means we will fight the insurance companies to make sure you are treated fairly and honestly. You should know that reprocessing and appeals could take up to an additional 90 days, during which time our Patient Advocate Department will do regular follow-ups and keep you informed of any developments.

The Patient Advocate Department at Altus Emergency Centers can also assist you with financial arrangements, hardships, and assistance. We understand that nobody is fully prepared for an emergency and we all need help from time to time, which is why we establish payment plans to fit your budget.

Our Promise is to Always Help Find the Best Solutions in Benefit of our Patients

Altus Emergency is happy to offer special customer care billing management services through Patient Advocate.  This is our promise to you:

  • At Altus Emergency we have the ability to establish payment plans.
  • Within these payment plans, Altus Emergency has the ability to consider financial hardships.
  • Altus Emergency offers a special customer care service, Patient Advocate.  We will work with the insurance company for a complete payment.

Get Peace of Mind, Call Patient Advocate

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

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

Baytown & Lake Jackson Call us (979) 529-2000 between 12:00 pm and 7:00 pm and ask for the Patient Advocate.

couple with patient advocate emergency room

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 emergency room 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 to the 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!

Tell-Tale Signs of a Broken Bone

How to Know if your Bone is Broken?

You know what they say about sticks and stones?  Well, a broken bone really hurts!  Bookmark this easy guide of the signs of a broken bone to know what to do if you or someone you love ever has an accident in the future.  Bone fractures, like most other injuries, vary in severity, and diagnosing is not easy without the use of advanced imaging technology like X-rays.

Some folks believe they can tell if a bone is broken by whether the patient can use it or put weight on it or not. Unfortunately, that is a myth; it’s surprising how often people who have a broken bone don’t even realize it because they can move it.

That is why it’s important to know the signs of a broken bone and get the issue fixed before it becomes an even bigger problem.

Signs of a Broken Bone

1. Bruising and Discoloration

Most of us tend to ignore our bruises thinking they are not that big of a deal, but they could be the first sign that your fall or accident led to a broken bone.

Bruising occurs when tissue capillaries get damaged, and blood leaks out of them. The bigger the bruising area is, the more likely damage involves deep tissue, possibly bone deep.

 

2. Swelling

 

There are many reasons behind swelling, but when it occurs after a trauma, it could be a sign of a broken bone. Swelling occurs when fluids and sometimes blood from an injury start to leak into the surrounding soft tissue like muscle, fat, and skin. The extra fluids cause the tissue to swell and become hard and painful to touch.

 

3. Deformity

 

If your injured arm, leg, hand, or foot look deformed, chances are you broke it. If your arm or leg bends in strange ways, this is a clear indicator that you need to come into the nearest Altus Emergency Center to get this issue fixed.

4. Crepitus

 

This word sound ominous and it is. Crepitus is when you can feel or hear crunching beneath your skin. Trust us when we say, that’s not supposed to exist anywhere in your body; and if it does, then this is a sign there are broken pieces of bone rubbing against one another.

 

 

5. Loss of Function

 

Loss of function is an indicator that something is not right, and your injury could have caused a bone to break. If you cannot move your arm, hand, leg, or foot, then you need to be seen by one of our doctors as soon as possible.

Remember being able to walk or move your injured limb does not mean you do not have a fractured bone if you are in severe pain and are experiencing any of the above signs you need to be seen by a doctor as soon as possible.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

When to Go to the ER

You should rush to the nearest Altus Emergency Center if you experience any of the following after a fall or other trauma:

  • Heavy Bleeding at the site of the injury
  • Numbness in the injured or surrounding area
  • The area turns a bluish color
  • Severe swelling
  • A visible deformity at the injury site
  • Bone protruding through the skin (Open fracture)

Dislocations

You should also come in if you have a dislocated joint. In many ways, a dislocated joint can be even worse than some types of fractures. Dislocations are serious orthopedic injuries, and they happen when a joint such as a knee or shoulder become severely misaligned.

Dislocations always involve deformity and can cause stretching or even tearing of ligaments and tendons. These types of injuries will always require emergency medical attention.

 

The only sure way to know if you have a broken bone or another type of orthopedic injury is with advanced imaging tests like X-rays, MRI’s, and ultrasounds.

At Altus Emergency Centers we have invested heavily in the most advanced diagnostic technologies available. This equipment allows our physicians to provide faster and more accurate diagnosis and treatment of our valued patients.

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 emergency room 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 to the 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!

Public Health Emergency 90-day Medicare Extension

Public Health Emergency 90-day Medicare Extension

At Altus, We Are Fighting for our MEDICARE Population to ensure continual emergency care.

The COVID-19 cases continue to rise in many communities across the country, and we still don’t know for sure when the pandemic will end.

As health care providers, we’ve joined the fight to urge the Department of Health and Human Services to extend the Public Health Emergency (PHE) for an additional 90 days.

Thanks to the combined efforts of health care provider organizations, the Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra announced the COVID-19 public health emergency renewal.

The Public Health Emergency provides hospitals, emergency rooms, and health care systems with the support and protection necessary to help manage COVID-19 in our communities. Still, more importantly, it protects the Medicare population from potential coverage loss.

Public Health Emergency 90-day Medicare Extension

What the PHE Extension Means to Medicare Patients

When the Public Health Emergency (PHE) ends, so will the enhanced federal funding program. At which time, States will then resume administering renewals for Medicare and Medicaid eligibility.

Unfortunately, this means that you and the nearly 80 million Americans enrolled will have their eligibility redetermined, increasing the risk of losing current coverage benefits, including emergency care attention.

The extension, therefore, ensures you will keep your current coverage benefits.

Public Health Emergency 90-day Medicare Extension

What Happens Next

By law, Public Health Emergencies (PHE) have a 90-day validity. However, the Health and Human Services Secretary can issue as many extensions as necessary. Therefore, although the current extension will expire on July 15th, 2022, further extensions could be made.

Rest assured that Altus Emergency Centers will always fight for our Medicare patients’ right to emergency care. And for as long as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to plague our communities, we will do everything in our power to continue extending the Public Health Emergency.

HEALTH NEWS, EVENTS & MORE.

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