Tulsa ER Hospital: Changing the game for the emergency room experience

Tulsa ER Hospital: Changing the game for the emergency room experience

Going to the emergency room can be one of the most stressful times for a family. Having to sit in an emergency room waiting room for several hours before being seen can add to the stress in a big way.

Tulsa ER Hospital is here to change the game with its emergency room and personalized service.

The new facility, located 717 W. 71st St. near the Tulsa Hills area is 100% physician owned, making it one of a kind in the Tulsa Metro area and one of two in the entire state of Oklahoma.

Tulsa ER Hospital opened its doors on July 29.

“The micro-hospital model is popular down in Texas,” Tulsa ER Hospital Medical Director Dr. Mark Blubaugh said. “This facility and the one down in Oklahoma City have been in the works now for about three years. We partnered with a group in Texas called NuTex Health, which is a physician-owned group. This facility is made up of local ER physicians who all live in the Tulsa community.”

Blubaugh added that their goal is different than traditional emergency rooms.

“We strive for a personal level of care,” Blubaugh said. “The goal with traditional emergency rooms is to get the patient in and out and quickly as possible. That is not what we do here. We want patients to feel comfortable. We want them to feel like they have been listened to and feel like they had a quality care experience. We try to go above and beyond for our patients.”

One of those ways Tulsa ER Hospital goes above and beyond for their patients is helping them set up follow-up appointments with other physicians after their ER visit, while the majority of traditional emergency rooms do not provide that service.

“A lot of medicine has gotten away from being physician-owned to owned and operated by the business world and insurance companies,” Blubaugh said. “There are a lot of great doctors at those traditional emergency rooms but have not control of the stake of the hospital. Anyone can come to our facility, like a traditional ER, insurance companies are obligated to pay for emergency care.”

Tulsa ER Hospital officially opened its doors July 29 and is located in the Tulsa Hills area. Photos/Kyle Salomon

Another difference in Tulsa ER Hospital compared to other emergency rooms is the balance billing. Blubaugh said the hospital won’t charge more than what the insurance company covers. For instance, if the final bill is $10,000 and the insurance company will only pay $2,000 of that bill, the Tulsa ER Hospital will not charge the patient the other $8,000.

Tulsa ER Hospital also offers cash matching options. A patient can pay a range of $250 to $2,750 in cash to receive care.

The new micro-hospital also has the ability to handle ambulance traffic. If a patient chooses to go to Tulsa ER Hospital, the ambulance will bring him or her to the new facility.

Tulsa ER Hospital also has in-patient services. There are five in-patient rooms, a hospitalist, specialty services such as a cardiologist that will visit those in need and an orthopedic physician that will also come in as needed.

“We don’t want to see patients waiting in the waiting area,” Blubaugh. “Our goal is to get them seen as quickly as possible by an ER trained physician.”

The one downside to the Tulsa ER Hospital is the law that prohibits them from seeing Medicare and Medicaid patients because any hospital opened after 2010 that is physician-owned is not legally allowed to see those patients.

There are 10 total partners who own the Tulsa ER Hospital. Anyone ER physician who works at the new hospital has to be a partner in the ownership group. Six of those are practicing ER physicians that work in the hospital and live locally, while the other four are on the management side of the ownership and reside in other cities and states.

Kyle Salomon

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