TAFEC February Recap Newsletter



Thanks to everyone who made the membership meeting in Austin a success. This was our largest meeting to date, with over 60 members and sponsors in attendance. The agenda included the latest in this industry’s future, the 2015 legislative session, DSHS Sunset review, a 2014 political update, and a communications and branding update. There were also a number of new faces that we welcomed to our association. After the membership meeting we hosted a dinner reception at the Doubletree, which had another great turnout.


TAFEC website

We have spent the last month and a half building a more robust, dynamic website for the association. I am pleased to announce you can now visit our new site at https://tafec.org. In the coming weeks we will be adding more features, which include a member-only login on the site to house member resources and the member-only e-newsletters just for you.

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In addition to launching the new site this month, we have also launched the TAFEC Twitter account.

  • Follow us at @TAFEC_TX for industry-related news and member updates.
  • We will be promoting the hashtag #FEC through our Twitter account in an effort to create an online forum for discussion around our industry. #FEC will group content about freestanding emergency centers, making it easy for legislators and other potential members to find.
  • We will also be monitoring your Twitter activity through Hootsuite. If you or your company post relevant/interesting content about the industry, expect some form of engagement from the TAFEC Twitter account.

We encourage you to share links to articles, blogs, etc. with us via email or Twitter.


TAFEC would like to welcome the following new members:

New Members

  • Physicians Premier ER
  • Emergency Medicine Physicians
  • My Emergency Room

New Licensees:

  • Cedar Park Emergency Center
  • First Choice ER-San Antonio

New Applicants:

  • Physicians Premier ER-Corpus Christi
  • First Choice ER Alvin
  • First Choice ER Cypress


TAFEC Board members, in collaboration with several key FEC industry stakeholders, have been lobbying with the two main emergency medicine associations, ACEP and AAEM, to garner recognition and support.

Great strides were made at the last two ACEP Scientific Assemblies with passage of an FEC resolution and the formation of an FEC section. As our FEC industry gains traction nationally, ACEP and AAEM will be instrumental in enabling emergency physicians to deliver emergency care in all venues, especially licensed freestanding emergency centers.

ACEP Section

ACEP will launch the FEC section at the upcoming Chicago scientific assembly in October 2014 with the following objectives:

  • Host a collaborative dialogue regarding pertinent FEC issues optimizing emergency medicine values as espoused by ACEP.
  • Educate ACEP members, the medical community, and the public about what FECs are, what they do, and how they fit into the patient’s circle of healthcare providers.
  • Collaborate with ACEP leadership in establishing a national set of standards for FECs that could be referred to as a unified national resource for legislatures, physicians, and the medical community.
  • Keep ACEP membership relevant to those who don’t practice in hospital EDs and to keep ACEP as a voice for all ED physicians, (whether they practice in hospital EDs or Freestanding ECs).

If you are an ACEP member please join the section and become part of the FEC discussions. 

AAEM Scientific Assembly Recap


Despite the heavy snowstorms, TAFEC took our booth all the way to NYC for the 2014 AAEM Scientific Assembly. It was our first time as an exhibitor for this event and it was largely successful, with important connections being made on a national scale. This was another opportunity for our members to discuss the Texas FEC industry with EM leaders from across the country.

TAFEC will continue working with AAEM Board Members in hopes that a committee/section can be created similar to that of ACEP. We also hosted a reception at a venue called the Terraces. Over 50 physicians from Florida, California, Texas, Louisiana, and even London attended our reception. The 2015 AAEM conference is scheduled for Feb 28-March 4th in Austin, TX. TAFEC plans to have a larger presence at this event and we look forward to will welcoming this group to our home state next year. It also happens to be during our 2015 Texas legislative session, which presents a great opportunity to show our local legislators more about EM and the FEC industry.


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TCEP Annual Meeting April 11-14th

Please join us for the 2014 TCEP Annual Meeting in Galveston, April 11-14th. TAFEC members are encouraged to attend this conference and help educate the Texas EM community about our industry. We plan to have a presence at the TCEP exhibit hall in addition to hosting another event for our members and other TCEP leadership. More information will be sent out soon with dates, details, TAFEC booth info, and other TAFEC hosted events.


In October 2013, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) held a stakeholder meeting on a number of rules that are going through the public comment process in the next several months. As a result of the passage of HB 1376 by Rep. Lois Kolkhorst, changes are being proposed to Chapter 133 of the hospital licensing rules to add a definition of freestanding emergency medical care facility and require a posted billing notice regarding charges provided for services. The impetus of the legislation, according to the bill author, was that some hospital-owned and -operated freestanding emergency medical facilities were advertising as urgent care clinics, but were billing patients at emergency room rates. The bill requires such facilities to advertise as emergency rooms and to notify prospective patients that the facility is an emergency room and charges at rates comparable to a hospital emergency room.

Keep in mind that HB 1376 and these rule changes would apply only to freestanding emergency rooms that are operated as a part of a hospital, not as FEMCFs licensed under Chapter 254, Health & Safety Code.

TAFEC submitted comments to DSHS regarding the Chapter 133 draft rules. The changes that TAFEC suggested clarify the distinction between a freestanding emergency room that is operated by a hospital and a FEMCF that is licensed under Chapter 254. DSHS has already notified hospitals that effective January 1, 2014, they are obligated to provide notice to prospective patients even though the rules have not yet been adopted.

TAFEC expects these that these rules will be discussed at the DSHS Council meeting on February 26 and 27th before they are published in the Texas Register for 30 day comment.

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