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The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA)

The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA)


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by Fillmore Buckner, M.D., J.D.
The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) was enacted to prevent patient dumping. It provides patients a considerable amount of protection and leverage in obtaining care under emergency situations. The reimbursement strictures imposed by managed care organizations have compounded the problems. This article summarizes the Act?s definition of role and duties of hospitals and physicians and the regulations to which these parties must adhere or face significant penalties.