With emergency medical care, the choice is yours - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

With emergency medical care, the choice is yours

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

If the thought of spending hours in a hospital emergency room is like 'salt in the wound,' an increasing amount of stand-alone emergency rooms are looking to catch your attention.

A 2010 Texas law set regulations for these private businesses.

They're required to be open around the clock, with a doctor and nurse at the ready and be able to provide the same level of care that a traditional emergency room can provide.

But with a smaller volume of patients, it's often possible to see a doctor in minutes, rather than hours.

St. Michael's Emergency Rooms owner Brian Orsak says, "The hospitals are open 24 hours a day and constantly have this traffic jam going on. So if I go in for an emergency; say I have a broken arm. They're not gonna' get to me as fast as the person who's having the heart attack or perhaps the person who's got a gunshot wound."

The Texas law also requires the private emergency rooms to provide care to indigent patients.

But for those with insurance or cash, the cost if often the same as any other emergency room because of the specialized assistance that's available.

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