EMTALA - Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act

EMTALA, also known as the patient anti dumping statute law, mandates that if an individual approached a hospital with an emergency medical condition (EMC) or labor and requests examination or treatment for the EMC, the hospital cannot deny this person any services that are required for the EMC even if the person is not able to pay the bill or does not have any insurance coverage of any type. This law is enforced by CMS and is applicable to all medicare and medicaid approved hospitals, critical care access hospitals, and hospitals with specialized services. Failing to enforce this law will result in loss of all medicare and medicaid payments and also there can be some monetary penalties on the hospital or physician who showed negligence. The law requires that the hospital provide the individual with stabilization services and if the hospital finds that it does not have the resources and ability to treat the condition then it is the responsibility of the hospital to arrange appropriate transfer to a facility where the condition can be stabilized. The law also states that the hospital where the patient is being transferred for specialized services should accept the transfer and treat the patient appropriately. The hospitals liability under EMLATA ends when the EMC is stabilized or the hospital admits the patient due to unstable EMC.

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