For more than a dozen years Eric McLaughlin has been trained in and practiced emergency medicine. Along with a fellow doctor and other partners, he opened Texas’ first freestanding emergency room. Now they’ve brought that same experience to the Las Vegas Strip, but Vegas-sized: Elite Medical Center. Las Vegas Magazine’s Kiko Miyasato sat down with McLaughlin to learn more.



Did you want Elite Medical’s facilities to be as close to the Las Vegas Strip as possible?

Absolutely. We knew that as visitors ourselves, there’s just nothing nearby (the Strip). The urgent cares have limited hours. The hospitals are 20 minutes away and the staff is overwhelmed. Again, necessity created and piqued our entrepreneurial spirit. When the piece of property came along, we knew this was our chance.



Tell me about the hospitality side.

Here’s a for instance: if you sprain your ankle and you’re with your girlfriends. They’re gonna come with, they’re going to come with you to the hospital and sit by your bed. We’re gonna let you know, hey, you have a sprained or broken ankle and we’re going to do an X-ray and it’s going to take about 45 minutes. In that time, we’re going to send your girlfriends across the street to Topgolf, here’s our corporate card, go play, eat, on us. We’re going to take care of her and by the time you guys have had a couple munchies and hit a few rounds of golf, she’s gonna be ready to go. We’ve already called the concierge at your hotel to make sure that your evening plans, your dinner and show, weren’t canceled, and we’ve got the shuttle on the way to pick you up. That’s our model; and no one has heard of that before.



What medical services will you be offering?

Anything you can get in a big hospital. There are certain things we won’t do: open-heart surgery, we won’t do brain surgery, there are already hospitals in the area that specialize in that. But for those that come into our center with those issues, we’ll stabilize them and transport them directly to the hands of the specialists that will take care of them. Even that transfer process is going to be white-glove service.



What about the cost of using your facilities?

We will work with people of every financial situation. We do work with commercial insurance only. We will have prompt-pay cash rates for people that don’t have insurance or choose not to use insurance for whatever reason. But we will work with everyone that comes in. We will not be set up with Medicare and Medicaid right away; we’re not registered federally with that. But we will not turn anyone away. There’s not a single patient that we won’t work with—they just need to let us know their financial situation and we’ll always work it out to their satisfaction.



What types of patients or illnesses or emergencies are you expecting to treat?

We do expect we’ll do more than a typical share of overindulgence-type things. We will probably treat, on weekends and evenings, a lot of people that are throwing up or have gastrointestinal issues. We’ll probably treat trips and falls, or people that have hit their heads and have concussions. But we will also treat the chronic medical conditions that have acute issues. Someone with COPD that has an exacerbation, we’ll take care of that, too.

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