Does a Full Moon Make People Go to ER?

Full Moon Madness, Reality or Myth?

We are all excited about watching the Super Snow Moon, which according to NASA will be the “biggest and brightest of 2019”. The full moon has been captivating human beings since the dawn of time and has been the main character in countless stories and legends. From werewolves, and vampires to ghostly apparitions.

ER’s are no strangers to full moon lore, there is no shortage of stories told by emergency room staff regarding crazy situations and unusual patient count during a full moon.

This is so much so the case, that even the Wall Street Journal published an article on the subject. In the article, they interviewed clinical staff from several hospitals and ER’s across the country and asked them to recount what it was like to work in an ER during a full moon.

According to those interviewed, not only did a full moon mean an increase in patients, but they also said they treated more patients with rare ailments or injuries.

However, there is a little bit of a controversy between what hospital and ER staff see and believe compared to what studies have found.

One study from the American Journal of Medicine in which the data of one emergency room over  4 years was evaluated, concluded there were no significant increases in ER visits on full moon nights.

But other studies including one published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology did find a link between criminal behavior and psychiatric crises and the moon face. One study found that some crimes including rape, assault, drunkenness, and disorderly conduct occurred more frequently 3-days before to and after a full moon.

So, is the full moon madness a reality or a myth? The answer is complicated as you can see. From our experience, our emergency centers on average see an increase of 6.75% in the number of patients we treat during the full moon. This happens consistently enough to suggest there is some truth to the idea that the full moon does have an influence on human behavior and health.

Whether you believe the moon has an influence over you or not, the best advice we can give you is to put aside all myths and if you get a chance catch a glimpse of the beautiful full moon. Nevertheless, it’s wise to always be careful and vigilant in any activity you do. Remember, an accident can occur any day at any time, while you are work, school, at the gym, while out to dinner, or even at home, full moon or not.

The good news is, Altus Emergency Centers will always be there to care of you and your loved ones. We are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, on holidays and especially during full moons.

 

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.  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!

American Heart Month – Guide to a Healthy Heart

Today is the Day to Learn to Love Your Heart!

This Valentine’s Month, it’s all about the heart!  Many of us are planning the perfect date night to show our partners just how important they are to us and how much we love them.  Altus Emergency Centers wants you to pause and pay a little more attention to all of the beautiful hearts in your life, starting with your own.

This year we are partnering with the Million Hearts® initiative to bring awareness of how dangerous and devastating heart disease can be, not just on a personal level but for those we love as well.  May this be the February that you learned to love your heart.

Heart Disease Fact Sheet

  • Cardiovascular diseases kill over 800,000 Americans every year
  • Heart Disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases are responsible for 1 in every 3 deaths
  • Heart Disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States

Every 40 Seconds, an American will have a Heart Attack.

  • Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, and it’s responsible for over 370,000 annual deaths
  • Every year more than 735,000 Americans suffer a heart attack
  • According to studies:

Nearly Two-Thirds of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms.

Sources: CDC & Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics 2018

We all glance over numbers every day like these every day.  Instead of a number, see them for what they really are, a mother, father, teacher, co-worker, best friend, classmate, neighbor, grandma, or the person standing right beside you.  At Altus Emergency Centers, we’re committed to helping you not become a statistic.  Chances are, you are still in time to make the lifestyle changes necessary to keep a healthy heart pumping for much longer.

Heart Disease Death Rates Statistics USA

Safeguarding Your Heart

We’ve all had our hearts broken at some point in our lives, but, as hard as heartbreak can be, we know that in time we will get better and be able to love again. This is not always the case when our hearts get sick, some of us won’t have the luxury of time to heal, which is why we need to start taking better care of our hearts now.

You are always taking care of everyone around you, this month of February make a pledge to start showing yourself some love by making healthier lifestyle and food choices including:

Improve Your Diet

Eat healthier, include more fruits and veggies, choose low-fat dairy products and cut down on the amount of fat you eat.

Fill Up on Fiber

Choose foods that are fiber-rich like oats, whole wheat bread, and beans and legumes. Fiber-rich foods will fill you up more, and they take longer for your digestive system to process, so you will fell fool for a longer time. This will help you eat less and maybe lose a few pounds without having to sacrifice your food intake.

Eat More Fish

Texans love meat, we get it, but try substituting beef for fish at least once or twice a week, a diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids can help ward off heart disease.

Get Moving!

Just like the song says you’ve got to move it, move it. We know you have a busy schedule but only 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise can make a world of difference. You don’t need to go to the gym, a walk around your neighborhood, or some fun dancing around the house or even putting a little more pep into your housework might do the trick.

Cut Down on The Salt

The American diet has an unusually high amount of salt, and a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that cutting the amount of salt we consume can significantly lower the number of strokes, coronary heart disease (CHD), and heart attacks.

Live Smoke-Free!

Smoking is one of the top risk factors for heart disease, and it’s not enough to decrease the number of cigarettes you smoke per day, you need to stop smoking altogether.

Recognizing a Heart Attack

The possibility of a heart attack is real.  Heart disease is the leading cause of both men and women in the US.  Although medical studies have shown that you can drastically lower your possibility of having a heart attack through lifestyle changes, the odds are still 1 of every 4 people in America die from heart disease.  For this reason, another way to help save hearts is to get to know the signs of a heart attack and to take action.  While men and women will have different types of symptoms and not all chest pains indicate a heart attack, there are some tell-tale signs that should spark an immediate warning sign.

Here are five of the most common signs of a heart attack:

  • Pain or Discomfort in Chest

  • Lightheadedness, Nausea or Vomiting

  • Jaw, Neck or Back Pain

  • Discomfort or Pain in Jaw or Shoulder

  • Shortness of Breath

Time is a major factor, the sooner the better.

The recommended window of time to get treatment for a heart attack is of only two hours away from the first signs as those listed above.  If you risk waiting longer, the damage will be greater as the chances of survival will be lowered.

If you or someone you know experiences any of the symptoms listed here, the best thing you can do is have someone bring you to the nearest Altus Emergency Center so we can evaluate you. When it comes to heart attacks and strokes, the faster you get treatment, the greater your chances of recovery and survival will be.

It’s been said that the greatest gift we can give anyone is love, so this Valentine’s Day make a pledge to take better care of your heart so you can be around for many more years to gift love to your friends and family.

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.  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!

Texas Flu Season 2018-2019

Texas Flu Season 2018-2019

If like many American’s you thought this would be a mild flu season, think again! Even though this year’s flu season got off to a slow start, it is quickly picking up strength. The influenza season officially began on September 30, 2018, and historically peaks January through February. According to a report by the Texas Health and Human Services, the number of positive flu tests rose by 5.5% in just one week, and the number of flu cases rose to widespread and has remained this way ever since. 

Left untreated, the flu takes lives.  The last flu season took nearly 10,000 lives according to according to state health officials.  This season, new flu-related deaths have also begun to surge.  Sadly enough, children and senior citizens are at greater risk.  This flu season 2018-2019 has also claimed it’s first pediatric victims.  Recently, USA Today ran an article on a little Garland, Texas Girl.  Ashanti Grinage, age 4, was taken to a hospital emergency room hospital with a fever and a persistent cough among other symptoms on January 29, 2018.  She diagnosed with the flu and two days later, little Ashanti passed away due to pneumonia.  She had not gotten a flu shot. This is the first pediatric case in North Texas.  At Altus Emergency we would like to shed light on the flu symptom and complications subject to help prevent the loss of lives due to flu-related complications.

Ashanti Brielle Grinage (right) and her family - Image Source: New York Post

According to the U.S. Surgeon General, last year’s flu was one of the worst on record in the US with:

  • 80,000 deaths from influenza and its complications
  • 900,000 American’s had to be hospitalized due to flu symptoms or complications from the flu virus

The following are the most up to date statistical data by the Texas Health & Human Services on Texas flu season 1018-2019.

Texas influenza map week 5 - 2019
texas flu related deaths 2018-2019 week 5

Fight the Spread of Texas Flu Season 2018-2019 Complications

Flu Strains

There are many strains of the two types of flu viruses, A and B, that infect humans. However, flu viruses are continually changing, and there are always new strains of influenza developing around the world, for this reason, every year vaccines are manufactured to protect against the top three or four virus strains that researchers believe will be the most common.

The most common and devastating virus strain from last year’s flu season was related to the H3N2 virus which is known to cause more severe complications, and the vaccine doesn’t work as well against it.

Although we are still very early in the season, it is believed that a different flu virus known as H1N1 could be dominant this year.

What Else Is Lurking Out There?

In addition, this year the CDC has warned against a cold-like illness that affects anyone. The Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), acts as the cold virus but, it could also make it hard to breathe. This virus is a concern for babies and the elderly. Doctors believe the Syncytial virus season will peak during January and February.

RSV is the common cause of bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lung) and pneumonia (infection of the lungs) in children younger than 1 year of age in America. It is also a significant cause of respiratory illness in older adults.

Symptoms of Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Signs of RSV infection usually include:

  • A runny nose
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Fever
  • Wheezing

You should know that these symptoms won’t all appear at the same time; instead they will develop in stages. If you spot these symptoms in an elderly person, please bring them to the nearest Altus Emergency Center so they can be evaluated and treated.

Symptoms in very young infants will be different and may only include:

  • Irritability,
  • Decreased Activity, and
  • Breathing Difficulties.

If your baby is showing any of these symptoms, it’s vital that you seek immediate medical assistance to prevent the symptoms from worsening and causing severe complications.

When Should You Come to The ER For Flu Symptoms?

Flu symptoms need to be treated early on, you should start on antiviral medications like Tamiflu within 24 to 48 hours after the first signs of symptoms.  While flu symptom treatment is not a reason to visit the emergency room, certain complications from the flu, if not treated promply can be a serious health hazzard and possibly life threatening condition.

If you or someone you are caring for experiences any of these symptoms seek emergency medical attention right away:

  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Chest Pain or Severe Abdominal Pain
  • Confusion
  • Sudden Dizziness
  • Severe Vomiting or Vomiting That Won’t Stop

Signs of a Flu-Related Medical Emergency in Children

If your child has been infected with the influenza virus (flu virus), and they experience any of the following symptoms, a visit to the nearest Altus Emergency Center is warranted:

  • Rapid Breathing or Difficulty Breathing
  • Bluish Color to the Skin, especially on the face or chest
  • Not Drinking Enough Fluids, which could lead to dehydration
  • Difficult or Unable to Wake Up or Interact with Others
  • Severe Irritability: Child does not want to be held
  • Stiff Neck
  • Rash
  • A severe headache that doesn’t improve after taking Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Motrin (ibuprofen)

In addition to the symptoms above, if you have an infant with the flu and she experiences any of the following symptoms, bring them to our emergency room.

  • Fever (over 100.3) and is under 3 months old
  • Unable to Eat
  • No Tears When Crying
  • Fewer Wet Diapers Than Normal

As mentioned before, experts don’t believe this flu season will be as devastating as last year’s, but, nonetheless, the influenza virus is dangerous, and it should be treated accordingly. This flu season, all Altus Emergency Centers will be monitoring the progress and changes of virus strains and symptoms to ensure we are fully equipped to treat all symptoms and help nurse you back to health.

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.  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!

Infant Ibuprofen Recall: What You Should Know

Infant Ibuprofen Recall:

Here’s What You Should Know

Pharmaceutical company Tris Pharma, Inc. voluntarily started recalling some batches of their Infant Ibuprofen Concentrated Oral Suspension, USP (NSAID) 50 milligrams per 1.25 milliliters, in December of 2018, last week they announced they were increasing the number of lots that are being recalled.

Important Facts You Should Know:

  • The medication was sold under the Equate, CVS Health and Family Wellness brands at Walmart, CVS and Family Dollar stores, respectively
  • The recalled medication was sold in 0.5 ounce and 1.0-ounce bottles.
  • Tris Pharma, Inc. found concentrations of Ibuprofen up to 10% higher than the specified limit
  • There have been no reports of negative side effects or illness caused by these products thus far
  • You can check for lot numbers and expiration dates of the recalled medication on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website here.
  • If you have any questions, you can contact Tris Pharma, Inc. at 732-940-0358 or micc_tris@vigilarebp.com
  • Reports of illness or adverse side effects can be made directly with the FDA at www.fda.gov/medwatch/report.htm.

What Is Ibuprofen?

Ibuprofen is a type of medication known as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), it’s typically used in children to:

  • Reduce Fever
  • Alleviate Pain
  • Relieve Discomfort from Teething
  • Relieve Pain and Discomfort Associated to Ear Infections in Infants

Ibuprofen does not require a medical prescription as it is considered a very safe drug when taken as directed, although it is not recommended for infants under 6 months.

Despite it being an over the counter drug, excessive doses can be extremely dangerous, especially in infants who may be more susceptible.

Infant Ibuprofen doses are based on the weight of the child not their age, for this reason, it’s important for parents to check the dosing instructions before treating their children carefully.

Potential Side Effects of an Ibuprofen Overdose in Infants

If you accidentally give your child a larger dose than their weight can handle it could lead to stomach issues, or kidney problems, in extreme cases the child may suffer kidney failure.

Symptoms of an Overdose

Most symptoms will kick in within approximately four hours after taking the Ibuprofen:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Pain or Discomfort in the Upper Abdomen (Epigastric Pain)
  • In some cases, Diarrhea
  • Tinnitus (A Chronic Ringing in The Ears)
  • A headache

When to Go to the ER

If you suspect you may have given your child medication from one of the lots that are being recalled, closely monitor them for the next four hours after they have taken the medicine.

If you notice any of the above symptoms, you should call your doctor or bring your child into the ER as soon as possible for evaluation.

 

SIGNS OF AN ACUTE EMERGENCY

However, if your child shows any of these severe symptoms:

  • Difficult or slow breathing
  • Convulsions
  • Seizures
  • Little to no urine production
  • Gastrointestinal Bleeding
  • Unresponsiveness or lethargy
  • Apnea (temporary cessation of breathing)

You should bring your child to the nearest Altus Emergency Center or your nearest emergency center for evaluation and treatment.

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.  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!

Join the Movement Against Insurance Company Denials

JOIN THE CAUSE,

TOGETHER, WE CAN PUT A STOP TO INSURANCE DENIALS

Anyone who has had to deal with an insurance company knows firsthand of all of the obstacles that they put up.  These excuses, scare tactics, and misinformation which are a common practice in spite of the fact that they go against Texas Law.

Don’t let Insurance Carriers Put Profit Over Patients. No Texan should ever be discouraged from seeking emergency care at the nearest ER. Do not make the mistake of denying yourself access to the best possible emergency care if in the absence of medical attention your health will be seriously jeopardized.

We are on your side.  Texas Freestanding Emergency Centers Save Lives and we will continue to do so. Join the My Emergency My Choice Moment by Signing the Petition below. Tell your legislators to vote for your emergency care to be covered.

SIGN THIS PETITION

TO ADD YOUR VOICE TO THE FIGHT AGAINST INSURANCE COMPANY EMERGENCY DENIALS.

[contact-form-7 id=”15784″]

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.  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 to Do When You Can’t Afford Your ER Bill

What to Do When You Can’t Afford Your ER Bill

Regardless of how organized you are with your money, nobody is ever fully financially prepared to deal with a medical emergency.

In recent years, most American’s have developed a real fear of having to visit a hospital or emergency room.  According to a study done by Harvard University, medical expenses were responsible for 62% of total bankruptcies in the US with 72% of those who filed bankruptcy due to medical costs had some form of insurance. If you are insured, you should be covered, right?  The fact is insurance companies with do everything possible to avoid paying claims.

With the growing trend of insurance companies looking for unlawful ways to deny emergency room visit claims, what can you do to avoid financial distress?

1. Don’t Panic!

We know having to deal with unexpected medical bills is a source of dread and anxiety, but, the worst thing you can do once you receive a bill from the emergency room is to panic.

Allowing anxiety to take over can cause more problems for you down the road. Keeping a clear, calm attitude will let you to review your bill and figure out what your next step should be.

PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS!

2. Review the Bill for Errors

Calmly check the bill to make sure you are being billed for the treatment you received; there have been cases where a patient was double billed for the same service by mistake, or even being charged for a procedure they did not receive.

  • If your bill does not include a detailed description of the charges, call the provider and ask them to send it to you.
  • It’s important to know that healthcare providers use codes known as Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) to report medical, surgical, and diagnostic procedures and services, you can search for them on the internet to decode their meaning.
  • Make a list of any items you have questions about.
  • Call the billing department at Altus Emergency Centers to make an appointment to review your bill as soon as possible. If there is one, they will be corrected, and a new statement will be sent to you.

3. Contact Your Insurance Company

If you have health insurance and feel you should not have to pay the amount owed, you need to contact your insurance agent as quickly as possible to ask why they are not honoring the terms of your insurance plan.

  • If your insurance company says the CPT code on the insurance claim is not covered by your plan, ask them which codes are covered by the program. This is important because in some cases our billing department might be able to change the code for a similar one that is covered by your insurance plan.
  • When your claim was denied because your insurer did not consider your procedure to be medically necessary, our doctors would be happy to write a letter explaining why the course of treatment was required.
  • If the insurance company is refusing to pay for your emergency room visit because the ER was not in network, let them know you are aware of your rights as a patient, and that the law requires insurance companies to pay for emergency medical treatment regardless of whether the facility is in network or not.

4. If All Else Fails, File an Appeal

There will be times when your insurance company will try to use fear tactics to get you to back down and pay out of pocket for services that should clearly be covered in your plan.

If you have tried to reason with them, and it has not worked, contact the Patient Advocate team at Altus Emergency Centers and bring them up to speed with everything you have done up to that point. They will try to speak to your insurance provider, and if they are unable to resolve the issue, they will gladly file an appeal on your behalf.

If your formal appeal is denied, you can refile another, and if the insurance company declines that one too, then you can request your claim to be reviewed by an independent third party who will give a final resolution.

5. Negotiate

If all your appeals are denied, or you are uninsured or are unable to pay the out of pocket amount, there are options available for you.

At Altus Emergency Centers we offer financial assistance for patients who cannot afford to pay their bills at once.

The first thing we will recommend is that you request a payment plan rather than use your credit card to pay for the amount due. Our Patient Advocate personnel can design a payment plan that fits your budget.

 

While it’s always a good idea to save for a rainy day, a medical emergency can happen at any time and to anyone. At Altus Emergency Centers we firmly believe that no patient should ever hesitate or fear to come in for treatment for fear of receiving a bill they cannot afford. For this reason, our Patient Advocate staff will work hard to ensure you receive the full benefits of your health insurance plan.

Contact our Patient Advocate department if you feel your insurance company is not honoring the terms of your healthcare plan, we can help you understand your benefits and your rights as a patient. We can also assist with the lengthy and often confusing health insurance appeal process.

Remember Altus Emergency Centers and the law are on your side!

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.  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!

Prudent Layperson Standard, GET THE FACTS, KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!

Prudent Layperson Standard,

GET THE FACTS, KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!

If you have ever had to deal with a health insurance company, you know first hand that they have a reputation for using scare tactics to prevent users from fully benefiting from their health insurance plans.

The latest attack on the public’s wellbeing was initiated by Anthem BlueShield BlueCross, the largest health insurer in the country, who unilaterally has decided to deny coverage to emergency room patients based on the final diagnosis rather than evaluating the symptoms which prompted the visit in the first place.

This decision is unlawful as it goes against the Prudent Layperson Standard, which Congress extended to apply to individual and group market health insurance plans in 2010.

What is the Prudent Layperson Standard?

Before 1997, insurance companies could deny emergency department claims based on the final diagnosis instead of symptoms. This meant that anyone who visited the ER complaining of chest pains which was later determined not to be a heart attack, or any other life-threatening condition would have to be responsible for 100% of the cost of treatment.

This forced patients to contact their insurance company during a moment of crisis to ask for permission to visit the ER, a policy which clearly placed the health and wellbeing of the individual in jeopardy.

As a result of these dangerous and unfair requirements, Congress enacted the Prudent Layperson Standard in 1997 which stated:

The term “emergency medical condition” means a medical condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including severe pain) such that a prudent layperson, who possesses an average knowledge of health and medicine, could reasonably expect the absence of immediate medical attention to result in:

 

  • Placing the health of the individual (or, in the case of a pregnant woman, the health of the woman or her unborn child) in serious jeopardy,
  • Serious impairment to bodily functions, or
  • Severe dysfunction of any bodily organ or part
  • Serious disfigurement

Originally the Prudent Layperson Standard only applied to Federal Health Plans such as Medicare and Medicaid, however, as of 2010 thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the standard was extended to include all private healthcare plans.

The great state of Texas adopted this Prudent Layperson definition in 1997 through Senate Bills 385. Section 1301.155.

PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS!

How Can Insurance Companies Deny Claims if It’s Against the Law?

This is the questions we are all trying to answer, in fact in March of 2018 two U.S. Senators sent a letter to the secretaries of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Labor requesting that they look into potential Prudent Layperson Standard violations by health insurance companies.

The truth of the matter is that the Prudent Layperson Standard is a federal law, and any attempt by a health insurance company to deny coverage based on final diagnosis rather than the symptoms present at the time of arrival to an Emergency Room is unlawful.

What Can Patients Do to Protect Their Rights?

Any person who experiences acute severe symptoms needs to receive an emergency medical evaluation to determine the cause and to receive proper treatment.

Nobody who is not medically trained should be forced to determine if their symptoms are severe enough to go to the ER. The Prudent Layperson Standard was explicitly drafted to ensure patients receive the emergency medical services they need when they need it.

This means that anyone who believes they are experiencing a medical emergency should visit the nearest Altus Emergency Center for evaluation without any fear; our Patient Advocate will help you every step of the way and file a claim on your behalf.

If your claim should be denied, our Patient Advocate will file an appeal, and even request an external review by a third party if necessary.

You can rest assured that at Altus Emergency Centers we will fight to protect your rights!

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.  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!

SIGN THIS PETITION

TO ADD YOUR VOICE TO THE FIGHT AGAINST INSURANCE COMPANY EMERGENCY DENIALS.

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🦟 ⚠️ The @TexasDSHS recently confirmed the 1st human case of the West Nile Virus for 2019.
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🏥 #AltusERCenters Open 24/7, No Lines.

🇺🇸 GOD BLESS AMERICA! Land of the Free, Because of the Brave!
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🏥 At #AltusERCenters, We're Open 24/7, No Lines through the 4th of July Weekend over all of our four locations.
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Altus Emergency Centers

SUPPORTING OUR HEROES, FIRST RESPONDERS. 🚑🚓🚒

👏 We had the honor of attending the Greater Angleton Chamber of Commerce's Salute to First Responders Luncheon.

👩🏻‍⚕️Two of our nurses Heather and Rhonda attended by representing Altus Emergency Center in a "THANK YOU" to our first responders!

🏥 #AltusERLakeJackson Open 24/7, No Lines.
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