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Clark County Commissioners to discuss future of stand-alone ERs

Posted at 5:44 PM, Feb 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-18 22:58:30-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Clark County Commissioners will soon be discussing possible changes and new rules on how medical facilities in the Las Vegas valley conduct their business.

Nestled on the backside of the Las Vegas Strip, you’ll find Elite Medical Services along Harmon Avenue.

It’s not your typical urgent care facility, it's more like a hospital, offering emergency and in-patient medical services.

Doctor Eric McLaughlin says the facility is unique in that it’s smaller than a full-service hospital and unlike urgent care facilities, they have more access to critical tools if needed and can get folks out the door in a jiffy.

“The doctor makes diagnosis more quickly, radiological procedures are done quickly, and most diagnoses are made within an hour,” McLaughlin said.

Elite hasn’t been open long, but Dr. McLaughlin’s eyes are set on the hundreds of thousands of Las Vegas visitors and giving them access to quick medical care.

“We do not want to step on anyone's toes or step on any one’s territory; we think that we’re in an area of time that is underrated,” he said.

But its presence along with the few other stand-alone ER’s in the valley have been met with opposition.

Its captured the attention of the Clark County Board of Commissioners.

On Thursday’s Agenda, a proposed ordinance to amend Clark County Titles six and seven regarding how medical facilities are licensed will be discussed.

The ordinance calls for facilities to obtain specific certifications and accepting payments from Medicare and Medicaid.

Lawmakers are trying to make these changes state-wide, as well.

Assemblywoman Maggie Carlton said a similar measure to address surprise er bills was passed in the previous session but was vetoed by former Governor Brian Sandoval.

This time, she thinks there will be a different outcome.

“If it's not statutory, then we will do something regulatory to make sure that people, the patients are taken out of the middle of this mess of surprise billing,” Carlton said.

Elite is taking ownership for its role in this, admitting that while opening up shop only a few months ago, there may have been a misunderstanding among patients and other valley hospitals on what their mission is.

“We haven’t done an excellent job of reaching out and making friends and building relationships, and we need to do better with that, and if we didn’t, we should have - and now we need to press the reset button,” said Dr. McLaughlin.