The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) is a federal law passed in 1986 that requires anyone at an emergency room facility to be stabilized and treated regardless of their ability to pay or insurance status. How has this law affected the healthcare community in general?
EMTALA increased the costs through the imposition of costly requirements on hospitals. These are for those that accept Medicare patients. Sometimes a patient is in active labor or suffers a severe condition. That could put her health in serious jeopardy. It may happen when there is no immediate medical attention. The hospital should provide treatment or transfer that person to a hospital that can give it. There should be records to store valuable information.
EMTALA reduced the quality of care for the whole population. It bankrupted emergency rooms. It occurred in places that have high populations of illegal aliens. It made the trauma care transfer more difficult. Physicians and hospitals aim to protect themselves from losses by non-paying patients. Last August 2009, the Medical Center or the Las Vegas University spent around $2 million a month. They provided emergency dialysis services to 80 illegal immigrants.
Government-run hospitals were a place where people who cannot afford health treatment go. The EMTALA turned the system on its head. It required every hospital to give the same emergency treatment to everyone. They should do this even if they did not make any provisions for payment. The EMTALA created severe problems that created a crucial issue in healthcare. It is no longer stable since the system requires people who cannot pay to get the same treatment. They may get it from the private facilities that have high standards. If free care is now available for everyone, no one might pay. If nobody pays, care may not become available to anyone.
There may be times when a patient suffers a condition that is severe or is in active labor. Without immediate medical attention, an individual's may be in serious jeopardy. The hospital should provide treatment. They may arrange for the transfer to another hospital that can treat that patient. The hospital has all types of records.
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