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Bioscience-Medicine

Blue Cross Enacts Controversial ER Policy In Texas

The new Parkland Memorial Hospital building sits ready for business in Dallas, Texas, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015. (LM Otero/AP)
The new Parkland Memorial Hospital building sits ready for business in Dallas, Texas, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015. (LM Otero/AP)

Some Blue Cross Blue Shield patients in Texas may have to foot the bill if they go to out-of-network emergency rooms for conditions that are not deemed serious.

Blue Cross enacted the change earlier this month, and it is expected to hurt what are called freestanding emergency rooms, legalized in the state in 2009. These ERs are separate from hospitals, often located in strip malls and are confused with much less expensive urgent care centers.

Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson speaks with Vivian Ho ( @HealthEconTX), health economist at Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine.

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