Is a Direct Contract with Health Services Worth It?

What All Employers Should Know:

How to Save Money through a Direct Contract with Health Services.

Rising healthcare costs are a sad sign of our times; few understand this better than employers that sponsor self-insured employee health benefit plans (“self-insured employers”).

Up until now, the model has been to have employers shop around for the best pricing for their employees for their business. Then the employee selects what health benefit is provided through the plan you purchased as a business owner.  

We get in this vicious cycle of an uncontrolled expense based off of employee health issues.

Cost continue to rise for the business man because there is no set control on where employees go. This leads to higher deductibles, premiums, payment year after year all because of lack of control.  What if you could shop for cost-effective medical services, which would, in turn, reduce costs?

When it comes to medical emergencies, it is unreasonable to expect anyone to research affordable care.

You cannot expect someone to drive long distances, during an emergency at which time, every second counts.  In these instances, the decision of where to receive care should be based on proximity, convenience, with little to no wait times.  A decision based purely on cost could put their health or even life at risk.

A Viable Solution to Lowering Health Care Costs

A much better option for self-insured employers is to consider sidestepping health insurers and negotiate directly with local health care providers like Altus Emergency Centers

to lock in reasonable pricing for health services.

A direct contract arrangement will allow employers to negotiate bundled case rates with provider organizations, which is a huge benefit for those businesses looking to cut their health care costs, while still guaranteeing quality care for their employees.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

How it Works

When a direct contract is negotiated, a price is arranged for each treatment, diagnostic test, or health service.  This means that the employer will make a single payment to providers and healthcare facilities for all services to treat a specific condition or provide a particular treatment.

Because the middle man was cut out, the providers can lower costs, making it more affordable for self-insured employers.

Benefits of a Direct Contract with Health Services

When you eliminate the middle man, in this case, the insurance company, there are benefits all around.

In a Direct Contract scenario, the course of treatment will be the same, but now at a fixed cost rather than variable.

There wouldn’t be a need to worry about prior authorizations and self-insured employers save money in the long run.

Additionally, employers have more control over employee health benefits.

Direct Contracting with Altus Emergency Centers

We encourage any employer who wishes to negotiate a direct contract for emergency health services, to visit us. We are willing to work with you to provide the best health care possible to your staff and their families.

 

We treat a wide range of conditions including:

  • Primary Emergency Care
  • Pediatric Emergencies
  • Head, back and neck injuries
  • Sports injuries
  • Flu symptoms and complications
  • Chest pain
  • Cuts and scrapes
  • Abdominal pain
  • Orthopedic pain
  • Acute headaches

Additionally, all our facilities are staffed by top-rated emergency doctors and nurses, as well as the most technological diagnostic equipment.

All our centers provide the following services:

  • Dedicated Pediatric Rooms
  • Private Adult Patient Rooms
  • CT Scan
  • Digital X-Ray
  • Ultrasound
  • EKG
  • Full-service Diagnostic Lab

 

If you are a self-insured employer and would like to know more about how you can reduce your health care costs with a direct contract for health services with Altus Emergency Centers, contact us or give us a call and schedule an appointment, together we can provide better care at a more affordable price.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas

is Here for You 24/7

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

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

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

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

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

PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS to ER CARE!

Cost of an ER – Price Tag on Saving a Life

What’s the Real Cost of an ER Visit?

The Problem with Putting a Price Tag on Saving a Life

Before we discuss the Cost of an ER, let’s put everything into perspective.

How do you know when the price of something is worth its value?

Think about a situation when you felt whatever the price you paid for something wasn’t worth it, regardless of how cheap it was.

My “Aha!” moment happened when I rented my first place and had to go grocery shopping for the first time, I was on a tight budget, and bargain hunting seemed like the reasonable thing to do. I went as cheap as I could and felt proud of how much I had saved. While I admit some things really didn’t have much of an impact in my life, the old supermarket sushi certainly did.

When the expired sushi kept me in the bathroom all day, I understood that there are some things you can’t go cheap on:

  1. Sushi
  2. Toilet paper
  3. House Paint
  4. Tattoo
  5. Your Lawyer
  6. Fixing Your Car  
  7. Hiring an inexpensive baby sitter
  8. The doctor you’re hiring to save your life

The other problem we have is,

we spend indiscriminately on things we don’t need to survive.

Things like watches, expensive sneakers, video games, outfits we may never wear but which must have matching shoes and purses just in case we ever do wear them. Yet, we squirm at the thought of paying for quality healthcare, especially when the cost of an ER visit comes to mind.

This is especially true when we are faced with an emergency, we are afraid to go a quality free-standing ER like those operated by Altus Emergency Centers, and instead opt to go to an Urgent Care clinic or drive distant miles to the nearest Hospital ER

in the hopes they can save our lives and our wallet.

What if I can prove to you that it’s been all a lie made up of smoke and mirrors?  

Let’s cut through the fine print and cut to the chase.

Where to Go in Case of an Emergency

Urgent Care clinics are a good option when you have a minor medical emergency, like if you cut your finger while cooking and need a couple of stitches. However,

these centers (Urgent Care) are not equipped to handle serious medical emergencies, because they don’t have the necessary diagnostic and treatment equipment nor the specialized staff.

If you go to an Urgent Care clinic because you are experiencing chest pains, they won’t be able to treat you, instead what they will do is refer you to an ER, and you will have wasted precious time.  Now you will have to consider the cost of an ER as well as what was spent at the urgent care clinic.

Summary of Cost Differences for Each Scenario

SCENARIO 1:  CHEST PAIN

Total Cost

ALTUS ER

$4,328.63

Altus Savings of  $1,183.37

Hospital #1

$5,512.00

SCENARIO 2:  ABDOMINAL PAIN

Total Cost

ALTUS ER

$9,754.68

Altus Savings of $1,389.19

Hospital #1

$11,143.87

SCENARIO 3:  BACK/FLANK PAIN

Total Cost

ALTUS ER

$6,755.48

Altus Savings of $2,627.52

Hospital #1

$9,383.00

SCENARIO 4:  HEAD INJURY

Total Cost

ALTUS ER

$8,010.63

Altus Savings of $584.37

Hospital #1

$8,595.00

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Freestanding ER vs. Hospital-Based ER Real Cost Differences Revealed

In most cases, the staff at Urgent Care centers will refer you to a hospital-based ER, this may not always be the best call, either because of distance, complications with traffic, and most importantly wait times, not to mention it could end up costing you more.

As of January 1st, 2019, all hospitals operating in the US are required by law to publish their standard costs for procedures online. This made it easy to make price comparison for standard tests to diagnose and treat a severe condition like chest pains:


ProcedureCPTAltus ERHospital 1
FAC LEVEL (FACILITY FEE)99285$ 2,744.25$ 2,690.00
EKG93005$ 472.00$ 884.00
CBC (BLOOD TEST)85025$ 242.00$ 426.00
BMP (BASIC

METABOLIC BLOOD TEST)

80047$ 145.38$ 205.00
TROP (CARDIAC BLOOD TEST)84484$ 281.00$ 442.00
CHEST X-RAY71015$ 392.00$ 779.00
ASPIRINN/A$ 5.00$ 4.00
NITRO SLJ3490$ 5.00$ 71.00
VENIPUNCTURE36415$ 42.00$ 11.00
TOTAL COST OF AN ER VISIT
$ 4,328.63$ 5,512

As you can clearly see,

receiving treatment for chest pains at Altus ER will save you nearly $1,200 compared to treatment at a hospital ER, and because a doctor will see you immediately if you are in fact having a heart attack, your chances of survival are much higher.

In the event of a life-threatening medical emergency, only your life should matter, but it’s reassuring to know that Altus Emergency Centers firmly believes

Your Life is Priceless, and our doctors will do everything they can to save your life.

Afterwards, our Patient Advocate will do everything they can to protect your wallet.  After we place everything into perspective the choice is clear.  If you are in an emergency, do not hesistate, visit your nearest emergency center to get the care that you deserve.  Never forget that your health matters, you matter.  Don’t let insurance companies put a price tag on your life.

In most cases, the staff at Urgent Care centers will refer you to a hospital-based ER, this may not always be the best call, either because of distance, complications with traffic, and most importantly wait times, not to mention it could end up costing you more.

As of January 1st, 2019, all hospitals operating in the US are required by law to publish their standard costs for procedures online. This made it easy to make price comparison for standard tests to diagnose and treat a severe condition like chest pains:


ProcedureCPTAltus ERHospital 1
FAC LEVEL (FACILITY FEE)99285$ 2,744.25$ 2,690.00
EKG93005$ 472.00$ 884.00
CBC (BLOOD TEST)85025$ 242.00$ 426.00
BMP (BASIC

METABOLIC BLOOD TEST)

80047$ 145.38$ 205.00
TROP (CARDIAC BLOOD TEST)84484$ 281.00$ 442.00
CHEST X-RAY71015$ 392.00$ 779.00
ASPIRINN/A$ 5.00$ 4.00
NITRO SLJ3490$ 5.00$ 71.00
VENIPUNCTURE36415$ 42.00$ 11.00
TOTAL COST OF AN ER VISIT
$ 4,328.63$ 5,512

As you can clearly see,

receiving treatment for chest pains at Altus ER will save you nearly $1,200 compared to treatment at a hospital ER, and because a doctor will see you immediately if you are in fact having a heart attack, your chances of survival are much higher.

In the event of a life-threatening medical emergency, only your life should matter, but it’s reassuring to know that Altus Emergency Centers firmly believes

Your Life is Priceless, and our doctors will do everything they can to save your life.

Afterwards, our Patient Advocate will do everything they can to protect your wallet.  After we place everything into perspective the choice is clear.  If you are in an emergency, do not hesistate, visit your nearest emergency center to get the care that you deserve.  Never forget that your health matters, you matter.  Don’t let insurance companies put a price tag on your life.

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!

PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS to ER CARE!

Are You at Risk of Benzene Poisoning? We Can Help!

BENZENE POISONING,

ARE YOU AT RISK? WE CAN HELP!

The massive fire at the storage facility of the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) that started on Sunday was finally extinguished; however, authorities issued a shelter-in-place order warning people in the community of Deer Park and other surrounding areas of high levels of benzene in the air.

The shelter-in-place order has since been lifted, but many of us have questions regarding what benzene is and how dangerous is it.

What is Benzene?

Benzene is a clear colorless liquid petroleum-based chemical that has a sweet smell and is highly flammable. It evaporates quickly; however, its vapor is heavier than air which means it may sick into low-lying areas.

Benzene ranks in the top 20 chemicals for production volume in the US and most of us are exposed to low levels of it daily. The air we breathe can be contaminated with this chemical from different sources including:

  • Tobacco Smoke
  • Motor Vehicle Exhaust
  • Gas Stations
  • Industrial Emissions
  • Paints
  • Glues
  • Furniture Wax
  • Detergents

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the maximum time-weighted average (TWA) exposure limit is 1 part of benzene vapor per million parts of air (1 ppm) for an 8-hour workday, and the maximum short-term exposure limit (STEL) is 5 ppm for any 15 minute period.

Higher levels of benzene or exposure times above those established are hazardous for your health as benzene can cause cancer.

Signs and Symptoms of Benzene Poisoning

According to the CDC, benzene poisoning can occur from breathing in high levels of the vapor, by drinking or eating foods that have been contaminated with the chemical or by direct contact with the compound. The symptoms may manifest within minutes or hours after the exposure.

Symptoms from Breathing High Levels of Benzene:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Headaches
  • Tremors
  • Confusion
  • Unconsciousness
  • Death (at very high levels)

Symptoms from Eating or Drinking Contaminated Products

  • Vomiting
  • Irritation of the stomach
  • Dizziness
  • Sleepiness
  • Convulsions
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Death (at very high levels)

Symptoms of Direct Contact with Benzene

  • Direct exposure of the eyes, skin, or lungs to benzene can cause tissue injury and irritation

Experiencing Any of These Symptoms?

What to Do If You Are Exposed to High Levels of Benzene

  • If Benzene was released into the air in the form of vapor, the best thing to do is move as far away from the affected area as possible.
  • If you are near a release of benzene follow the instructions of the emergency coordinators, they will recommend you evacuate or shelter-in-place to avoid being exposed to the chemical.
  • If you believe you have been exposed to higher than recommended levels of benzene, you should remove your clothing, wash thoroughly with soap and water and get emergency medical attention as quick as possible.

Benzene Poisoning Treatment

There is no specific antidote for benzene poisoning; however, symptoms can be treated in any of Altus Emergency Centers which can save your life or minimize the long-term effects of benzene exposure.

Emergency doctors at Altus ER cannot stress enough how important receiving supportive medical care when you or a loved one has been poisoned by benzene. Getting to our centers as soon as possible could save your life.

Have You Been Affected by the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) Fire?

 

ITC is aware that claims have arisen as a result of the 3/17/19 incident at ITC’s terminal in Deer Park, Texas.
If you believe you have suffered damage as a result of the incident, you can download and completely fill out
the appropriate claim form and submit it with required supporting documents.
Note that there are separate claim forms for businesses and individuals.

ITC CLAIMS FORMS

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!

PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS to ER CARE!

Free Bike & Gear Giveaway 2019

Free Bike & Gear Giveaway 2019!

This March, we’re honoring Brain Injury Month the coolest way possible, spreading awareness and good fun!

At Altus Emergency Centers, we believe that spreading health and safety awareness for all ages through smiles and hugs.  Which is why we invite all of you to enter our Free Bike & Gear Giveaway Sweepstakes!

Biking Has Many Benefits to Your Child

Just in time for Spring, biking is in!  We hope to make a child happy through our Free Bike & Gear Giveaway.  Biking is a healthy habit to learn as a young child that has many benefits such as:

  • Help develop leg muscles & strengthen bones
  • Increase coordination
  • It gets kids up and active and keeps them active
  • Benefits mental health and learning

As an active advocate of good health habits, Altus Emergency is thrilled to be able to give away one new bike at each of their four locations through our March our Free Bike & Gear Giveaway.

Don’t Forget Your Cool Gear!

It’s not just a fashion statement.  Wearing bike gear is crucial to safety.

According to the CDC, the use of bicycle helmets reduced the risk for bicycle-related head injury by up to 85%.

Parents have no fear, your cool bike helmet is here!  Each of the FREE BIKES we are giving away come with a quality bicycle helmet.  Let’s get down to business and enter the Free Bike & Gear Giveaway Sweepstakes.

IT’S FREE! How it Works

IT’S 100% FREE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE FREE BIKE & GEAR GIVEAWAY!

It’s Easy to Participate!  We are giving away four (4) bikes and nifty bicycle helmets, one for each of our Emergency Centers:  Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.  Each winner will be announced on Friday, March 29th, 2019.  All Sweepstakes Official Rules Apply.

1.  THROUGH FACEBOOK

  • Comment your favorite color.
  • Invite a Friend Along for the Ride!
  • We’ll send you a message to make sure you entered.

2.  THROUGH INSTAGRAM

  • Follow our Instagram Page: AltusEmergencyCenters
  • Comment your color with Hashtag #AltusFreeBike,
  • Tag a Friend!

3.  THROUGH TWITTER

  • Follow our Twitter Page.
  • Retweet with Hashtag #AltusFreeBike
  • Tag a Friend!

Five Ways to Prevent a Brain Injury

Thank you for participating in our latest sweepstakes!  As per The National Brain Injury Awareness, here are five (5) tips to prevent a potential traumatic brain injury:

  • Remove Tripping Hazards
  • Keep a Watchful Eye on Toddlers
  • Wear Protective Headgear
  • Buckle Seat Belts & Use Child Seats
  • Don’t Dive into Shallow Water

Get to know more about traumatic brain injuries (TBI’s), their causes, and which symptoms are a sign of alert to visit the ER.

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!

Urgent! Blood Pressure Medication Recall

Taking Medication for High Blood Pressure? Check Your Prescription.

The FDA announced this week that Macleods Pharmaceuticals Limited started a voluntarily recall of a lot of 100mg/25 Losartan Potassium/Hydrochlorothiazide combination tablets.  The recall which initiated on February 22nd, 2019, occured due to the detection of trace amounts in the active pharmaceutical ingredient of an unexpected impurity.

The “trace amounts” that caused the alarm is a cancer-causing impurity called N-nitrosodiethylamine, or NDEA. In other words, the impurity is classified as a probable human carcinogen meaning,

it can cause cancer.

NDEA is known to occur naturally in certain foods; however, it is also used to make liquid rocket fuel and is a byproduct of fish processing as well as pesticide manufacturing.

The lot of tablets that Macleods Pharmaceutical is recalling contain NDEA amounts above the acceptable daily intake levels released by the FDA. So far, the pharmaceutical company has not received any reports of adverse effects since it started the recall.

About Losartan Medication

What is Losartan Potassium/Hydrochlorothiazide Used For?

Losartan potassium tablets with the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide are indicated to treat hypertension, or high blood pressure in patients with a condition called left ventricular hypertrophy in which the muscle wall of the heart’s left pumping chamber thickens.

Is this the Only Losartan Medication That is Under Recall?

This is not the first time a losartan medication has been recalled, in fact, recalls on losartan tablets produced by various pharmaceutical companies have been ongoing since July 2018.

The FDA continuously updates their list of losartan products that are under recall, please click on the link for the latest update.

What Should I Do Now?

What to Do If Your Prescription for Losartan/Hydrochlorothiazide Is Part of the Recall

If you find your prescription of losartan is part of the recalled lot, the first thing you should do is contact your doctor.  Then, let him/her know, they will either prescribe a new medication or instruct you to go to the pharmacy where you purchased the medication to get a replacement.

Remember, Macleods Pharmaceutical is only recalling the lot that was found to have unacceptable levels of NDEA.

You should NOT stop taking your medication, as the risk of harm to your health may be higher if the treatment is stopped immediately without any alternative treatment

If you experience any problems that you believe are related to taking this medication, please call your doctor or visit the nearest Altus Emergency Center right away.

Should you experience a heart-related emergency or any other type of genuine emergency, don’t waste time and go to your nearest ER. 

If you are living in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton or Waxahachie, Altus Emergency Centers is your nearest ER.

Every minute counts, choose what will give your life a chance.

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!

CDC Warns the Flu Season Is Far from Over

Is the Flu Season Going to Get Better or Worse?

The CDC numbers are alarming, and they could get worse.

According to the CDC, the current flu shot is approximately 47% effective.

This year’s flu shot is less than 50% effective overall in preventing an infection.

At the start of the flu season, the most widespread strain of the virus was Influenza A H1N1, but in the last few weeks a more severe strain, Influenza A H3N2 began to circulate, and it’s now responsible for nearly half of the reported cases according to the CDC.

The Texas Health and Human Services also issues a weekly surveillance report which shows the influenza activity in the state is still very high, even though there was a slight decrease in positive test results for influenza this past week.

Sadly, the report also shows two children in Texas died from the flu in the last few weeks.  The first being, the little girl from Garland, Texas Ashanti Grinage, who passed away of pneumonia from flu complications.  She was only four years old. The second, eight-year-old Martin Campbell from Rockport, Texas also was taken too soon hours after having been diagnosed with flu-like symptoms.

Please take the time to get to understand the dangers of the complications from the flu or flu-like symptoms. Most importantly, we recommend to know the signs of alert and follow your gut instinct.

CDC Warns the Flu Season Is Far from Over

According to the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the 2018-2019 flu season is still widespread in 48 states and Puerto Rico.

The report estimates that between October 1st, 2018, and February 16th, 2019 there have been

  • 17.7 million to 20.4 million flu illnesses
  • 214,000 to 256,000 flu hospitalizations
  • 13,600 to 22,300 flu-related deaths
  • 41 reported pediatric deaths, seven of those were reported in the week ending on February 16th

When it Comes to Your Kids Trust Your “Parental Sixth Sense”

When children get sick, they can’t always communicate how they feel or explain their symptoms well.

Therefore, you should always follow your instinct; nobody knows your child better than you, so if you notice something strange, or you feel your child’s symptoms are something more than just a cold or a mild case of the flu, it’s time to get a doctor involved.

Children are more vulnerable and more likely to develop severe complications of the flu some of which can be life-threatening.

Possible complications from the flu include:

  • Ear infection
  • Sinus infection
  • Pneumonia
  • Inflammation of the heart (myocarditis)
  • Inflammation of the brain (encephalitis)
  • Inflammation of the muscle tissue (myositis, rhabdomyolysis)
  • Multi-organ failure such as respiratory and kidney failure

If your child has an infection and it is not treated promptly or adequately, it could lead to sepsis, which is the body’s extreme life-threatening response to infection.

Altus Emergency Centers can be a lifesaver in situations where a child’s life is at stake, our guarantee no wait times means your child will be seen by a doctor the minute you walk through our doors.

How to Tell If You Have a Cold or the Flu

The common cold and the flu share some symptoms, and it’s not always easy to tell the difference, especially if you are feeling miserable.

If you suspect you may have the flu, you are welcome to come to Altus Emergency Centers to get tested. 

We are open 24/7 and you will not have to wait in line to receive ER care.

 

Symptoms


Cold


Influenza or Flu


FeverRare in AdultsUsual
HeadacheRareCommon
Body AchesMildSevere
Tiredness or WeaknessSometimesYes, and can last up to 3 weeks
Extreme ExhaustionRareUsual During the First Days
Nasal CongestionVery CommonSometimes
SneezingUsualSometimes
Sore ThroatCommonSometimes
Chest Discomfort – CoughMild to Moderate coughCommon, Can Become Severe
Nausea and VomitingRareCommon in Children
Chills and SweatsRareCommon

 

As a rule, you should know that Influenza tends to be much more severe than a cold, and for children, the elderly or anyone who has a weak immune system it is more likely to lead to other serious health problems like pneumonia.

What Can You Do to Prevent the Flu?

The is no foolproof way to stop from getting the flu; however, some things that can help lower our risk of getting sick.

  • Wash your hands with warm water and soap often
  • Use hand sanitizer
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces in common areas
  • Keep your distance from people you know are sick
  • Take an immune booster
  • Drink bone-broth, studies show that it is incredibly beneficial for your immune system
  • Try to sleep 7-9 hours every night
  • Exercise
  • Consider getting vaccinated against the flu, this won’t guarantee you won’t get sick, but in some cases, it can help lower the severity of the symptoms.

When to Get Emergency Medical Help

Knowing when to come to the ER can mean the difference between life and death, especially for children and elderly patients.

Come to the nearest Altus Emergency Center if:

  • Your child is vomiting or has uncontrollable diarrhea
  • If you or your child have trouble breathing or if you notice the lips turning blue
  • If the patient is unresponsive
  • You have a fever that has lasted more than 3-days
  • Persistent cough, especially one that comes with phlegm  
  • You develop chest pain
  • You have severe throat pain, this could be a sign of strep throat

All Altus Emergency Centers are prepared to treat any severe symptom or complication of the flu. While feeling under the weather is just part of the process, if you notice any unusual symptoms or if your symptoms rapidly become worse, please come in for an evaluation it could end up saving your life or that of a loved one.

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!

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!

Big Rodeo in Houston Giveaway 2019 – Win 2 Free Tickets!

Big Rodeo in Houston Giveaway 2019!

Time to get out your cool rodeo gear!  The Biggest Rodeo in Houston 2019 is just around the corner.  The buzz started since January and now that we are near, we can’t wait for it to be here! This world-class rodeo that initialed back in January of 1931 will be running from Feb. 25 – March 17, 2019 at the NRG Stadium. At Altus Emergency Centers, we’re happy to announce the grand reopening to our Sweepstakes!  Enter our Biggest Rodeo in Houston Giveaway for a chance to win two (2) Free tickets to the Luke Combs concert, on Wednesday, March 6, 2019 at the NRG Stadium.

 

Image Source:  Flickr by eschipul

IT’S FREE! How it Works

IT’S 100% FREE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE FREE LUKE COMBS TICKETS GIVEAWAY!

It’s Easy to Participate in our FREE Biggest Rodeo in Houston 2019 Giveaway 2019 Sweepstakes. Hurry! One lucky winner will receive two (2) Free Luke Combs tickets!  The winner’s name will be announced on March 4th, 2019.  All Sweepstakes Official Rules Apply.

1.  THROUGH FACEBOOK

  • Comment your favorite food you can’t wait to enjoy at the Rodeo!
  • Invite a Friend Along for the Ride!

2.  THROUGH INSTAGRAM

  • Follow our Instagram Page: AltusEmergencyCenters
  • Comment your favorite food you can’t wait to enjoy at the Rodeo with Hashtag #AltusRodeoTickets,
  • Invite a Friend Along for the Ride!

3.  THROUGH TWITTER

  • Follow our Twitter Page.
  • Retweet with Hashtag #AltusRodeoTickets
  • Invite a Friend Along for the Ride!

Image Source:  93.7 THE OUTLAW

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 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 inspite 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 absense of medical attention your health will be seriously jeapordized.

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″]

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✔️ Evacuate if told to do so.

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