Robert Morris, CEO of Complete Care

If freestanding emergency centers (FECs) are to survive and help underserved rural communities, they should be allowed to receive Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, which they cannot currently do, an FEC executive told members of the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Monday.

“The model doesn’t work unless we can get Medicare and Medicaid,” Robert Morris, CEO of Complete Care, a company that runs 15 FECs in Texas and Colorado, said during a subcommittee field hearingopens in a new tab or window held at Global Medical Response, a ground and air transportation service provider in Denton, Texas. “But there’s a lot of us in this space that would love to go out to those underserved areas.”

Millions in Uncompensated Care

FECs are one type of rural emergency care provider that has sprung up in the wake of many rural hospital closures. They are state-licensed facilities that offer the same level of care as hospital-based emergency departments, with doctors, nurses, and radiology technologists always on site, Morris, who is also president of the National Association of Freestanding Emergency Centers, said in his written testimony.

“Our facilities provide advanced imaging, laboratory, and […]

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