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Beware of the Emergency Care Clinic — 9 Comments

  1. Jon,

    I had a similar experience. I received an insect bite on my leg and after 4 days it had not improved, so one night I decided to make the trek down to my local “ER in a box” (old Blockbuster Video store). After about 1.5 hours, I was on my way, painless enough. The Dr. opened the bite, drained, treated with antibiotic ointment, and wrapped. Imagine my surprise when I got a bill in the mail for about $1000. Next time, I’ll use my knife, Neosporin, and a band-aid.

    The main problem with these centers is the lack of information about them. Mansfield has had PLENTY of them open up in the past year or so. I agree, do your homework, and have a plan before stepping foot in one.

    • And you thought the insect bite was painful! I think a price list for services, like Minute Clinic and CareNow have, would be a great starting point. Thanks for sharing your story Jon!

  2. I’ve never used either the emergency care clinics or the care now clinics, but I know at least one of my kids have, so I’ll try to pass this info along to them. Thanks. On another note: Several years ago when I still had kids in elementary school and there was a pending school bond election with a LARGE portion of the money earmarked for “technology” I met with those involved in making the decisions about this stuff in the HEB district, at that time, and Dave Lieber agreed to go with me to this meeting. I left dissatisfied, but at least I gave it a shot. I really appreciated his coming along and his subsequent article (back in his Star-Telegram days). BTW HEB paid $3000 each for 800mhz Dell computers w/ monitors and printers. Five years later they sold the cpu’s on a pallet of 50 for $50. Same for the monitors. Taxpayers are STILL paying for them and will be for, I think, another 15 years or so. There’s more, but for another time… Bottom line: I am going to almost always be against any bond election that isn’t for something long term. In other words, once the bonds are paid off I still want to be able to see what they went for.

    • Definitely some good info to pass along Ted…especially for the household with your grandchild 🙂

      Since I have been doing the auction thing I have seen an amazing amount of waste in our school districts, municipalities, and state government. I will say that the state of Texas seems to squeeze the most life out of their stuff since anything I have ever bought from the state is beat nearly to death. Municipalities are the worst…specifically the city with the Jerry Dome. I have bought brand new items from that city simply because they had to get rid of that new item so they could buy another new item so they wouldn’t lose that portion of the budget. The bond proposals are about the worst waste I can think of due to the continuing interest on the purchase.

  3. We have used Care Now several times when we couldn’t see our regular doctor. I like the Web Check in, less waiting time in lobby. Plus if you wake up feeling crummy in the wee hours, they open at eight, and you can reserve your 8 am spot in the middle of the night. Has used different locations: Hurst off HWY 26, also the one in the Euless area just past Glade Road on East side of 121. Beats ER prices, and just like any other doctor visist, you have to ask questions and be able to explain your symptoms honestly. Most of us know what the problem is, unless it’s something totally new.

    • We are big fans of CareNow as well Lisa! They do a really good job of keeping things moving and provide good service at a fair price. I think the challenging part is when these emergency clinics look so similar to a CareNow or a Minute Clinic. The emergency clinics are vastly different in operation and billing than the urgent care facilities like CareNow.

  4. took daughter w/suspected broken finger to emergency clinic at Davis & N Tarrant. They took X-rays and splinted it. I paid a $40 or $50 copay (can’t remember) and thought we were done. Then about a month later got a bill for almost $400!! Should’ve taken her to the Cook’s clinic! Beware! Thanks for the info!!

    • Sounds quite familiar! Seems like there are a lot of folks who find out after the fact that their insurance provider won’t recognize bills from some of these places. Always fun to get that large surprise medical bill in the mail!

      • I’ve got an update on our experience. After we paid the aforementioned “co-pay” of $40 at time of treatment, it wasn’t until October that we received a bill from E-Care for $392.19. I laid it aside, then the holidays happened, the bill got buried on my desk and was forgotten. Strangely, we got no follow-up invoices from this place at all until now. Just last week, we got a bill from them showing a “Courtesy Discount Adjustment” for $351.15. What?? I have no idea what that means, but I’m going with it and will send them the remaining balance of $41.04 just to be done with them. Lesson learned!!! Thanks for the heads-up on these places!