Kyle is a facility manager of several emergency centers in the Austin Texas region. He has 25 years experience in emergency medicine and knows what kinds of conditions constitute an emergency room visit. He also is a former collegiate athlete who maintains a very active and healthy lifestyle. So, on New Year’s Day 2019, the last thing on his mind was that he could be in his last hours on earth.
It started with what seemed like light heartburn but quickly progressed to a consistent chest pain. Despite this, even he was unsure if he should check himself into his own facility or wait till he got closer to home. Thankfully, he chose to be seen where he was immediately treated by his own staff and physicians who told him he was having a heart attack. Minutes later, he coded (flatlined) and was gone for about 3 minutes.
The team at his emergency center sprang to action and resuscitated him through CPR and defibrillation, saving his life. If Kyle delayed his decision to seek emergency care, he simply would not be with us today.
This facility, the physicians, and millions like it around the country are under attack by Insurance companies who tell patients that if they choose to go to an ER and it turns out not to be life-threatening, that the patient will be denied coverage. This is a deadly serious problem that shouldn’t happen in Texas or anywhere else.
It’s a patient’s right to determine what they feel is an emergency or not, and its the insurance companies’ jobs to make sure people are covered after paying their high premiums. If an ER professional can be confused by a life-threatening heart condition, anyone can. Tell your legislators to enforce the “prudent layperson” standard which gives patients the choice to seek emergency care under their health plans. It’s a deadly serious issue and its time patients, physicians and legislators stood up to insurance company greed.