What are some examples of  Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) violations. 

What are some examples of  Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) violations.

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Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA)

Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA)
The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) is a federal healthcare law that mandates Medicare-participating hospitals or any facility that qualifies as a hospital with emergency department to offer emergency care to any persons, regardless of their ability to pay. At the core of this act is to stabilize an individual and ensure that they attain lifesaving care before any other measures or interventions (CMS, 2022). Enacted in 1986 based on reports of hospital emergency rooms declining to treat uninsured or poor patients, the act mandates hospitals, as a condition for federal funding, to offer services for persons presenting at the emergency department or face possible enforcements for violation.

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Hospitals that violate the provisions face sanctions. The EMTALA violations are wide and include failure to screen for emergency screening examination (EMC), failure to stabilize patients with EMC, and failure to accept transfer of patients from another facility. Again, hospitals also violate the provisions of the EMTALA when they fail to offer any interventions for patients presenting in their emergency departments despite having the capacity to do so (CRS, 2023). Refusal to accept a patient is a critical violation of the EMTALA and would lead to settlement as in the case of a Tennessee hospital that entered into a $40,000 settlement agreement with OIG for failing to accept an appropriate transfer. Further, inappropriately transferring a patient who requires emergency medical care (EMC) is a violation that hospitals are liable for based on the EMTALA rules. Again, the EMTALA provisions also cover labor-related aspects that hospitals must not violate or breach. For instance, hospitals breach the EMTALA provisions when the fail to offer medical screening exam and stabilization of an obstetric patient in active labor (Terp et al., 2019). They also violate these provisions when they fail to appropriately transfer an obstetric patient.
References
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) (2022). Emergency Medical Treatment &
Labor Act (EMTALA). https://www.cms.gov/regulations-and-guidance/legislation/emtala
Congressional Research Service (CRS) (2023 March 21). Overview of the Emergency Medical
Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) and Emergency Abortion Services. https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/IF/IF12355
Terp, S., Wang, B., Burner, E., Connor, D., Seabury, S. A., & Menchine, M. (2019). Civil
monetary penalties resulting from violations of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) involving psychiatric emergencies, 2002 to 2018. Academic Emergency Medicine, 26(5), 470-478. https://doi.org/10.1111/acem.13710

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