Six years later, with Medicare on the table, Altus Baytown ER continues to grow within the Baytown community.
Since Sept. 1, the Altus Baytown ER on W. Baker Road has accepted Medicare patients, resulting in a new physician group coming on board to serve a larger volume of patients.
“The decision to accept Medicare patients symbolizes the commitment Altus Baytown ER has with the community,” Kevin Herrington, president of Altus Health, said. “With that comes a need to add a nurse to serve a range of patients per day that fluctuates but can reach as many as 12 per day. So we added two nurses on duty at all times versus having just one.”
According to Altus, 10% of the estimated 75,418 residents of Baytown are believed to be over 65 years of age. And according to the CDC, an estimated 15.6% of all emergency room visits are from patients 65 and older.
With a majority of patients on a fixed income who depend on their Medicare coverage, the need was obvious in Baytown. Until now, the senior community could not use Medicare coverage at Altus Baytown.
“We’re seeing more growth in the area and applying more access to care, which is why we want to make sure we have a more complete ability to serve the Baytown area,” Dr. Abdullah Kudrath said.
Altus Baytown ER provides services for minor injuries and major trauma.
The center includes a specialist team, eight treatment rooms, a trauma room, full-service diagnostic lab services, a triage unit, a full radiology suite, pharmacy and a year-round operational facility.
With growth in service came a growth in staff that equates to the addition of two licensed vocational nurses, joining a staff that includes a physician, radiologic technologist, nurse and receptionist.
“We want to make sure we’re mindful of the patients time, so we’re staffed (the Baytown ER) accordingly,” Kudrath said.
Emergency room visit cost is covered by Medicare patients with Part A or Part B coverage, but patients will still be responsible for a copayment for visiting the ER, a copayment for each hospital service they receive while in the ER and a coinsurance amount of 20% for the Medicare-approved cost for doctor serves.
In addition to offering Medicare, Altus expanded its outpatient emergency services by purchasing Neighborhood Emergency Center in Baytown and Crosby.
The new Neighborhood Emergency Centers, under the umbrella of Altus Baytown, also accepts Medicare.
Moving forward, Herrington said they’re looking at the possibility of establishing an outpatient program in Baytown.