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EMERGENCY CARE: What is EMTALA?

This is a really nice high-level overview of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986.  It is scholarly (with footnotes for further research) and readable.  There is an interesting discussion of the genesis of the law, which was prompted in part by allegations of “patient dumping” by hospitals.  This meant that there was concern that some hospitals might be refusing emergency care to patients unable to pay.

Notable quote:  “…EMTALA remains a sweeping testament to the fundamental proposition that in the wealthiest nation on earth, no person should be denied emergency medical care.”

Source: Rosenbaum, S.  The enduring role of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act.  Health Affairs;32(12):2075-2081, Dec. 2013.  http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/32/12/2075.abstract   Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org  

 

 

 

 

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