First Choice ER Has Joined the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas Provider Networks

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BCBSTX members may now access Texas' largest network of free-standing emergency rooms on an in-network basis.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) has added First Choice ER to its Texas-wide provider networks. As of October 1, 2011, members covered by BlueChoice®, HMO Blue® Texas and traditional indemnity benefit plans will be able to access Texas' largest network of free-standing emergency rooms on an in-network basis.

"We think this is great news," says Rick Covert, CEO of First Choice ER. "Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas is the largest provider of health benefits in the state, so this change will positively affect a lot of people."

First Choice ER has always accepted Blue Cross and Blue Shield members, however, as a participating provider in the BCBSTX network, the processing of medical claims will be streamlined, and there will be lower out-of-pocket costs for BCBSTX members who use health care delivered through First Choice ER.

"It means simpler billing and less stress for members," Covert says.

First Choice ER operates twelve free-standing emergency rooms in cities across Texas. While First Choice ER opened its first location over eight years ago, free-standing emergency rooms are still a relatively new concept in medical care. These facilities can provide an equivalent level of care to that seen in most hospital emergency rooms, but without the overcrowding and long wait times.

"All of our physicians are board-certified in emergency medicine, and all of our nurses are emergency trained," says Covert. The company's facilities feature advanced diagnostic equipment beyond that which is available in a doctor's office or urgent care center, including digital x-rays, CT scanners, and onsite laboratory services.

About First Choice ER

First Choice ER offers a new concept in the delivery of emergency medical services, operating freestanding, fully equipped emergency rooms in residential neighborhoods across the state of Texas. With seven locations in the Houston area, four in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and one in the Austin area, patients receive high-quality treatment with minimal wait times.

For more information, locations and hours, visit http://www.FCER.com or call toll-free 866-99-FIRST (34778).

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Kristyn Eldridge
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