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Coronavirus in Texas

COVID-19 testing has become a “cash cow” for freestanding ERs in Texas, experts say. And it’s getting out of control.

Freestanding emergency rooms in Texas have been charging patients’ health insurance plans thousands of dollars for a single coronavirus test.

The Austin Emergency Center at South Lamar and Ben White in Austin on May 09, 2017.

The proliferation of freestanding ERs in Texas

Facility fees

The pandemic testing boom

Health insurance companies shoulder the cost

“Breathing life back into ... bad actors”

Why you should care

“All of us, every single one of us eats those costs in our insurance premiums when our insurance companies are forced to pay huge amounts for very simple procedures like a COVID-19 test.”

— Blake Hutson, associate state director, AARP Texas

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