On Bauer Business Focus—A conversation on the rise of free-standing emergency rooms with Houston Public Media News 88.7 Business Reporter Andrew Schneider.
Houston has witnessed a rise in free-standing emergency rooms and physicians are now able to act as business owner and medical doctor all in one setting as they help bring patients more effective care.
Dr. Akash Bhagat, medical physician and owner/operator of two free-standing emergency rooms, recently stopped by Bauer Business Focus to discuss the benefits to both patient and doctor.
“Free-standing emergency rooms are essentially a free-standing entity, which takes the emergency services a hospital provides and puts it in an outpatient type setting,” Bhagat said. “And by outpatient, I mean in a geographically separate location from the hospital, so it’s not attached to all the other ancillary services and inpatient services which hospitals traditionally offer.”
Typically, free-standing emergency rooms are located in suburban areas where there are fewer hospitals found among a dense population of residential homes or where there isn’t easy access for patients in to make it quickly to a nearby hospital. While hospitals and free-standing emergency rooms share a similar business plan, there are distinct patient benefits that Bhagat says his free-standing emergency rooms offer.
“There are a lot of checks and balances in hospitals which are there for patient safety, but at the same time a lot of things that occur in hospitals cause physicians to practice medicine a little bit differently than they would traditionally like to,” Bhagat said. “In a free-standing emergency room, I’m able to spend a lot more time with the patient than I am in a regular hospital because I don’t have 25 to 30 more patients waiting for me in the waiting room.”