Free-standing Emergency Departments: The Texas Medical Association advocates legislation establishing minimum operating criteria and regulatory framework for free-standing emergency departments (FSEDs). At a minimum, the legislation should specify that FSEDs must:
- Have and maintain equipment and supplies suitable for provision of emergency care services, including 1) equipment needed for the evaluation or resuscitation of critically injured patients, 2) appropriate diagnostic laboratory and radiological equipment, and 3) other essential equipment as determined by the state via rules.
- Be open to receive patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Have a referral, transmission, or admission agreement with a licensed hospital with an emergency room before the facility accepts any patient for treatment or diagnosis. The legislation should direct the state to establish via rulemaking the appropriate maximum mileage allowed to transport the patient from the FSED to the admitting hospital.
- Maintain full time coverage by a physician(s) either board certified in emergency medicine or otherwise qualified to provide emergency medical care.
- Be staffed with physicians, nurses, and other necessary staff with specialty training or experience in managing catastrophic illnesses or life-threatening injuries, including training in advanced cardiac life support, advanced trauma life support, and pediatric advanced life support.
- Adhere to the minimum architectural, sanitary, hygiene, privacy, and medical record standards as defined by the state via rules.
- Maintain an internal pharmacy capable of dispensing medications and controlled substances that are necessary for the prompt and medically appropriate treatment of those conditions that regularly present at a traditional hospital-based emergency room.
- Be capable of accepting ambulance traffic.
- Be accredited by the Joint Commission or other independent accrediting body.
- Provide medical screening and stabilization services for all patients seeking emergency services (CM-EMS Rep. 1-A-08; deleted CM-EMST Rep. 2-A-18).
Last Updated On
August 20, 2018