Effects of EMTALA on Healthcare

Effects of EMTALA on Healthcare

It defines the conditions and circumstances under which a patient may be denied treatment or transferred to another hospital.The EMTALA is part of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) that was passed in 1986. EMTALA has a broad range of implications that determines the provisions of emergency care treatment for patients, including the ones who are registered under Medicare. It has to be remembered that EMTALA is applicable only to hospitals and other medical centers that have entered into “provider agreements” with the Federal government. The Federal government agency The Department of Health and Human Services provides payment to these hospitals for treatment provided to patients enrolled with their program. Since a majority of the American demography are beneficiaries of one program or the other offered by this government agency, hospital management doesn’t have an option other than adopting EMTALA rules and regulations in dealing with patients (Rosenbaum, 2003). So, when hospitals are bound by the EMTALA, they cannot overlook patient needs in favor of monetary gains. In other words, patients needing critical care and immediate attention cannot be turned away or directed to other hospitals just because they are not in a position to pay for the services. In this sense, the Act can also be interpreted as a “non-discrimination statute”. The Act ensures that patients who are subscribed to government insurance programs get all the benefits that are afforded by private insurance programs (Westfall, 2003).1. All patients who are brought to a hospital under an emergency situation should be properly screened so as to determine the exact nature and intensity of their medical condition. If the condition has deemed an emergency, then the patient “should” be provided with all necessary care that is required at that moment.

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