At present, hospitals annually incur billions in uncompensated EMTALA
Physician Marketplace Report: The Impact of EMTALA
on Physicians Practices.
Once the EMTALA
requirements are met, Medicaid patients are more likely to be steered to free options in community clinics for nonemergency care or face a charge for the same care, if they insist upon being treated on the spot in the ER.
Although hospital ERs are intended to treat acute medical conditions, the federal EMTALA
mandates that hospitals treat all patients with medical emergencies regardless of their ability to pay.
Also, notice how sly or shrewd a step EMTALA
may have been, in historical hindsight, for the cause of universal access: put in place access to emergency care, then let the momentum and pressure from it roll all the way to a broader access.
87) For instance, in Bennett, the court determined that even though the peer-review report might be relevant to the plaintiff's state tort action, a medical malpractice claim, state law would not permit admittance; the court also extended the privilege to the plaintiff's EMTALA
71) First, under EMTALA
, (72) virtually all hospitals with emergency rooms are required to screen and stabilize emergency medical conditions without regard for the patient's Medicaid eligibility, immigration status, or independent ability to pay.
The litany of bureaucracies/laws/regulations/policies that regulate medicine, Medicare, Medicaid, TriCare, HIPAA, ADA, EMTALA
, OSHA, DEA, Translator Requirements, Workers' Comp, No Fault, Medical Boards, Department of Health, American Board of Medical Specialties, specialty boards, pay for performance standards, and EHR meaningful use standards is overwhelming, and it is doubtful that any practicing physician would ever have time to read all of the regulations and requirements that apply to his practice.
In 1985, Congress passed EMTALA
to stop the widespread practice of
Although an "emergency medical condition" is defined in the same way as under EMTALA
(the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act), which already applies to hospitals, it is unclear whether and how far "care" for such conditions extends beyond the requirements for stabilization under EMTALA
provides that any hospital (64) with an emergency department must assess each patient that presents himself for treatment.
, "participating" (82) hospitals and ambulance services must provide care to anyone in need of emergency medical treatment who "comes to" an emergency department regardless of the person's ability to pay.