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DALLAS (CBS11 I-TEAM) – A battle is brewing in Dallas to stop some surprising medical bills. Angry patients who are receiving high bills from freestanding emergency centers are fighting back.

The first ever class action lawsuit accusing some of the facilities of fraud and deception has been filed against Adeptus Health in Lewisville.

Adeptus owns free standing emergency rooms in Texas and Colorado. You would likely recognize them as First Choice Emergency facilities.

freestanding ER (CBS11)

freestanding ER (CBS11)

Dallas Attorney Stuart Cochran filed the suit which accuses Adeptus Health of “fraudulent and unconscionable failure to disclose ‘Facilities Fees’ to consumers before they are treated at Adeptus’s so-called freestanding emergency rooms.”

“One of our clients took his daughter in in the middle of the night. She had a high fever. She was given some Motrin, saw the doctor for maybe five minutes, and they gave her a steroid shot. And, he got a bill for $3,700,” said Cochran.

The lawsuit also claims Adeptus “actively conceals its billing practices from consumers until they send the patients their bills.”

Texas law requires freestanding emergency rooms to “prominently and conspicuously” post notices in their front entrances and on their websites saying they “charge rates comparable to hospital emergency rooms…”

In an I-Team investigation last May, CBS11 found several of the facilities, owned by many different healthcare companies, may not have been displaying their signage prominently enough.

This new lawsuit focuses only on Adeptus health-run facilities. The I-Team visited its headquarters, but no one would discuss the case on camera.

In a statement, the company told CBS11, “It could not comment on ongoing litigation.”

Adeptus recently partnered with Texas Health Resources. As a result, the facilities you see now in North Texas are called Texas Health Emergency Rooms. This partnership may mean you are covered “in network” by your plan.

When you walk into any free standing emergency room, get out your insurance card, and ask the following three questions:

1. Is your facility in my network?
2. Are all of your doctors in my network?
3. Do you have a facility fee?

Here is the full lawsuit David Adkinson v. Adeptus Health Inc, Adeptus Health LLC, Adeptus Health Colorado Holdings LLC, and Adeptus Health Management LLC.

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