After developing a chest cold and breathing problems last year, Susan Alexander went to First Choice ER, an independent emergency room in League City, Texas, drawn by its motto: “Real ER. Real Fast.”

Treatment was indeed speedy, about 20 minutes. It was also real expensive, Alexander said. The bill was about $2,000, or as much as five times what the 56-year-old nurse might have paid for similar care at a doctor’s office. The charges included a $1,518 “facility fee,” typically assessed by hospitals and their ERs to support the space, services and equipment needed to keep dozens to hundreds of beds available.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Employee Benefit Adviser content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access