Regulatory Paper- EMTALA (1986)
Dr. Wanda Allen
February 12, 2012
By: Carmetta Abdullah
The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) of 1986 was enacted by the United States Congress as an addition to the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act or (COBRA). The EMTALA law requires hospital facilities to provide emergency healthcare services to patients regardless of race, ethnicity, citizenship or the ability to pay or provide healthcare insurance. Hospital emergency rooms are also required to provide an examination and stabilizing treatment to any patient with an emergency medical condition or the patient can be transferred to a facility that meet such needs.
Employees of participating hospitals must keep in mind that they must accept any patient coming to the emergency room seeking care without the consideration of the ability to pay. Pregnant women in active labor must be admitted or safely transferred to another hospital or facility. Employees must also remember that patients must be provided with a medical examination to determine if the patient is indeed suffering from an emergency medical condition. Additionally, employees are required to stabilize the patient before they are transferred to another facility. All employees must abide by the regulations of EMTALA or the associated hospital can incur fines from 25,000 to 50,000 per violation which can mean dismissal of the employee. A hospital may also be held liable to an injured person in a civil action for damages under the statute, with no maximum on the liability.
EMTALA regulations enforce management to properly train all hospital employees on the importance of following and implementing the guidelines due to all patients requiring emergency medical services. The law sets out conditions under which emergency treatment must be provided. The law also sets out strict penalties for facilities not in compliance. EMTALA regulations are meant to...