Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is a freestanding emergency room?
A. A freestanding emergency room is an innovative concept in emergency medicine. It is a facility that stands alone and is not attached to a hospital. There are several advantages to this type of facility including:
- Bringing emergency medicine closer to home
- Decreasing drive time to get to an ER
- Decreasing wait time in a traditional hospital ER
- Relieving chronic overuse of hospital ERs
- Providing high quality, individualized services at a rapid rate
Q. What kinds of services does Advance ER provide?
A. Advance ER offers the emergency medicine services you would expect to find at an ER, as well as routine medical care for common health concerns. Our services include:
- In-house imaging services such as X-ray, ultrasound and CT scan
- In-house laboratory services for fast turnaround
- In-house medications for our patients
- Concierge service with a well-stocked hospitality bar
- Personalized treatment for each patient with little wait time
Q. Will I be seen by a Nurse Practitioner or a Physician Assistant?
A. No. The Advance ER physician team consists of board-certified physicians who are committed to providing the highest level of care possible. Our physicians’ years of experience and dedication to emergency medicine make them qualified to diagnose and to treat common, acute and trauma-level medical conditions.
Q. What kinds of conditions do you treat?
A. Our board-certified physicians treat a range of conditions from routine to emergency. Here is a sample of medical concerns we commonly treat:
- Heart attacks
- Gallbladder attacks
- Back pain
- Gynecologic concerns
- Seasonal allergies, strep flu and pneumonia
- Workplace injuries
- Breathing difficulties
- Sports injuries
- Broken bones
- Lacerations and wounds
- Skin conditions
- Sexually transmitted diseases
Q. What is a SPECIALIST NOW℠ service?
A. At Advance ER, we are proud to offer some of the most advanced technology available to our patients. One of the most important services that we have engineered for our patients is SPECIALIST NOW. SPECIALIST NOW conferencing brings our patients consultations with appropriate specialists. We have a team of specialists standing by to respond within minutes to a request for a conference when a consultation is needed. If you need to see a cardiologist, a pulmonologist, ophthalmologist, a pediatrician, a neurosurgeon or a dermatologist, we have the right specialist available when you need him or her. This service is offered at no additional office charge to our patients.
Q. Where are you located and what are your hours?
A. You can choose from our two convenient locations: Park Cities on W. Lovers Lane or Galleria Area on Inwood Road. We are open 24/7 for walk-ins, even on holidays!
Q. Which insurances do you accept?
A. We accept most major insurances. Please call to verify your provider before you come, if possible. Even if our center is not in your network we will still honor the in-network benefits. Unfortunately, we are not able to accept Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, or CHIPS at this time. The Facility is not a participating provider in any health benefit plan provider network. However, by state law your health insurance company is required to process your ER visit at in-network benefit levels.
Q. What kinds of emergencies does Advance ER treat?
A. Advance ER is full-service emergency department. We can effectively diagnose and initiate treatment for all kinds of medical emergencies, from insect bites to heart attacks to industrial and car accidents.
Q. Do you provide treatment for babies and children, or just adult patients?
A. Yes, Advance ER treats patients of all ages for all medical conditions. We even have a kids themed Pediatric Exam room that is designed just for your little ones.
Q. Do I need to make an appointment before coming in?
A. No, there is no need to make an appointment for emergency medical care with Advance ER. We treat patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Q. How is Advance ER different from an urgent care center?
A. Advance ER differs from an urgent care center in that urgent care centers usually aren’t designed to treat life-threatening medical complaints. An urgent care facility is somewhat similar to a regular doctor’s office that has extended hours. Urgent care clinics are often staffed by physician extenders who generally aren’t trained to triage critical trauma patients. Thus, if someone goes to an urgent care clinic for a life-threatening condition, they will be redirected to 911 or EMS. By contrast, Advance ER is always open and is staffed by highly trained emergency room doctors and nurses. Our ER is also equipped like a large hospital and offers onsite imaging services like X-rays, CT scans, and ultrasound. We also offer in-house laboratory services and are equipped and staffed to treat a full range of emergencies, 24/7. TEC’s imaging and lab equipment is the most modern, state-of-the-art technology. Advance ER provides prompt and thorough results for any test ordered.
Q. What about patients that need to be admitted to the hospital for further care?
A. Should you require hospital admission, Advance ER has inpatient transfer agreements and we can get you admitted directly to major hospitals. We can arrange prompt transfer to any hospital as instructed by your or your primary care physician. We also arrange for direct admission to an inpatient bed, allowing you to completely bypass the hospital’s emergency room. Our staff will do anything possible to ensure that the transfer to the hospital goes smoothly. It is important to note, however, that this is usually unnecessary. Most patients who visit Advance ER are treated and released without the need for a hospital transfer.
Q. Why are wait times at freestanding emergency rooms like Advance ER so short compared to hospital-baed emergency rooms?
A. Crowded hospital-based ERs and lengthy wait times are due to several factors: a lack of on-call specialists, slow patient transfer time, and an overall inefficient process. Whereas freestanding ERs like Advance ER typically have lower volumes, allowing ER doctors and nurses to see patients promptly and efficiently.
Q. Does Advance ER have a diagnostic lab on site?
A. Yes, our diagnostic laboratory is both CLIA and COLA certified. We are able to perform the majority of tests hospital ERs perform. These tests are processed by technicians onsite, so we can get the results to you quickly. Typical turnaround time for obtaining lab results at Advance ER is around 15 minutes.
Q. Does Advance ER offer radiology/imaging services?
A. Yes, we have X-ray, Ultrasound, CT, and Doppler technology. When you require imaging services, in addition to being evaluated in real-time by the ER doctor, we also send the images electronically to an offsite radiologist so that it can be read immediately. An added benefit is that this technology provides printed radiology reports, that are typically ready in about 20 minutes, which is faster than in hospital ERs. Advance ER also provides patients with CDs of their images, which are ready by the time they leave our facility.
Q. What types of payment does Advance ER take for self pay patients?
A. We accept cash, checks, and all major credit cards including MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover.
Q. What part of my bill am I responsible for during my visit?
A. You will be required to pay your emergency room copay at the end of your visit.
Q. How do I know if Advance ER is considering “in network?”
A. According to Texas guidelines, all insurance carriers must pay in-network benefits for any member seeking emergency medical treatment at an emergency center. Texas law requires the insurance carrier to pay for your emergency care, regardless of whether the emergency room is “in network” or “out of network.” The state of Texas empowers you to use the “prudent layperson standard” when considering what constitutes an emergency.
Q. What if I have trouble getting coverage from my insurance company?
A. Texas state law requires patients to be reimbursed for ER visits by their insurance carriers. If your insurance company refuses to pay for your ER visit, you have the option of filing a grievance with the Texas Department of Insurance. For more information about the Texas Department of Insurance, visit http://www.tdi.state.tx.us.
Q. Why is Senate Bill 425 so important to me?
A. The health care system can be confusing and costly when consumers lack access to critical information. SB 425 alleviates this problem by requiring free-standing ERs like AdvanceER, to provide more transparency about fees, prices and network status. For more information about Senate Bill 425, click here.