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New freestanding Clark County ERs must accept Medicare, Medicaid

New hospitals or medical centers that offer or advertise emergency services in Clark County will need to accept Medicare and Medicaid, starting this summer.

Hospitals that obtain a business license after June 1 will be subject to the new rule. They must also be certified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and be in compliance with federal law that requires emergency departments to treat patients without regard for insurance or ability to pay.

The new stipulations, adopted by the Clark County Commission on Tuesday, come amid concerns over the emergence of freestanding ERs, or microhospitals, that are not part of existing hospital networks. Those medical facilities are licensed through the state, but lack accreditation, do not accept Medicare and Medicaid and are not subject to the same reporting requirements and other standards.

Existing microhospitals will be unaffected by the ordinance. However, Commission Chairwoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick said Tuesday that she expected they will advertise insurance they accept with additional signage.

Contact Shea Johnson at sjohnson@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272. Follow @Shea_LVRJ on Twitter.

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