McAlester hospital considers up-front fees for ER treatment

Thursday, February 3rd 2005, 3:13 pm
By: News On 6

McALESTER, Okla. (AP) -- Officials at McAlester Regional Health Center are considering forcing emergency room patients to pay a fee before they're treated.

Acting Chief Executive Shaun Beggs says the hospital is providing a significant amount of treatment to people who aren't paying their bills.

Beggs says the hospital can't turn away any patient who needs emergency treatment. He has said many ER patients are not true emergencies and they may be told it will cost 20-dollars for treatment.

Hospital board chairman Francis Stipe says he wants a committee to study the matter.