New rules considered for ‘pop-up’ emergency rooms

Local News

So-called “pop up” emergency rooms are a new trend in healthcare. One has opened in Las Vegas. Critics are concerned many of the businesses do not have enough regulation. This week, Clark County commissioners will tackle that issue.

The valley’s only “pop up” ER, Elite Medical Center, opened last summer near Harmon and Koval, just east of the Las Vegas Strip. From the outside, it looks like a small hospital.  Elite has everything from a full-scale laboratory to x-ray technology to an on-site pharmacy.

But unlike other hospitals, Elite is not on an insurance network and does not accept Medicare and Medicaid. It is also not accredited, though it is fully licensed by the state of Nevada and is in the process of earning accreditation.  Operators of Elite say all staff members are trained in emergency medicine and trauma.

Some county commissioners say they have heard from patients who received unexpectedly high bills. Under rules being considered by the County Commission, any hospital or medical facility would be forced to accept Medicare and Medicaid and comply with all federal laws that govern emergency rooms.

In February, the operators of Elite claimed the push back from lawmakers is proof the valley’s big hospitals do not want competition.

“Crafting laws to change my business model rather than letting me practice laws that already exist?” Asked Eric McLaughlin of Elite Medical Center. “You won’t change the level of care I give by changing laws.”

The County Commission meeting is set for Tuesday, April 16th at 9:00 a.m.

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