On Sept. 2, Texas Health Resources added 31 freestanding emergency rooms and one 50-bed hospital to its namesake, the result of a joint venture between the Arlington-based health care giant and Lewisville’s Adeptus Health.
Now named Texas Health Emergency Room, the rebranding is the next step in a joint venture announced in May between Texas Health, one of the country’s largest nonprofit health systems, and publicly traded Adeptus Health (NYSE: ADPT), the nation’s leading operator of freestanding emergency rooms.
“As the region’s population continues to grow beyond the areas immediately surrounding our traditional, acute-care hospitals, it’s important for patients to have emergency medicine options closer to home,” said Barclay E. Berdan, CEO of Texas Health Resources. “We have found that patients will drive long distances to get to a hospital-based ER, but many times a freestanding emergency facility could more conveniently take care of their problem and get them back home sooner.”
Under the joint venture, Adeptus Health’s 31 freestanding former-First Choice Emergency Rooms in North Texas will be rebranded as Texas Health Emergency Room locations, and Adeptus’ First Texas Hospital in Carrollton will become Texas Health Hospital. The effort is expected to be completed within the next few weeks. The first freestanding site was rebranded in South Arlington. Of the 31 former First Choice sites, eight are in Collin County and others are in Dallas, Denton and Tarrant County.
Aside from the rebranding, the move allows all the locations to accept payment from Medicare and Medicaid because federal law prohibits freestanding facilities form billing the federal programs unless they’re affiliated with a health system. The sites will also use Texas Health’s electronic health record system and payer contracts.
“It gives us a lot of reach into communities where we may not currently have a presence,” said Berdan. Berdan said Texas Health plans to build more locations in the area soon.
The freestanding emergency room in south Arlington is about 7,000 square feet with seven patient rooms. Future sites may be slightly larger with as many as nine patient rooms.
With the addition of 31 freestanding emergency rooms and the Carrollton hospital, Texas Health now has more than 350 points of access, from hospital and outpatient centers to doctors’ offices and imaging centers in North Texas.
Freestanding emergency rooms have been growing rapidly in Texas. Five years ago there were a couple dozen stand-alone emergency centers in the state, and now there are more than 200. Colorado, Ohio and other states also have seen steady growth.
Texas Health has launched a new website, TexasHealthEmergencyRoom.com, to provide consumers information on the closest Texas Health ERs.