Local freestanding ER doctor responds to potential new regulations

New laws could be coming to freestanding emergency rooms that are meant to combat price-gouging and patient confusion.

One bill passed in the Texas legislature would allow the attorney general to take action against freestanding ERs that charge more than double what an average hospital would charge for services.

The other would require freestanding ERs to be even more transparent about which insurance provider consider that particular ER as "in-network."

A local freestanding emergency room doctor says the "in-network" classification is confusing, however, because state and federal law require that all insurance companies consider any emergency services as "in-network"-- no matter where the treatment came from.

"It's a little bothersome to talk about network status in the situation of an emergency because we don't want patients to be concerned about where they can go [in an emergency]," said Dr. Lon Young of CapRock Health System. "The insurance companies, by law, are required to honor their in-network benefits in those situations."

Both bills are on Gov. Greg Abbott's desk, who may choose to sign them into law or not.

For the full conversation, see the video player above. For more information on the legislation, see the Related Links.