Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) Laws

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What Is EMTALA?

The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) is a federal law that regulates how hospitals must treat patients with an emergency medical condition or who are in active labor (i.e., about to give birth). EMTALA only applies to hospitals that accept Medicare and Medicaid patients, and covers patients regardless of whether they have health insurance

What Does EMTALA Require?

If a patient comes to a hospital's emergency room, the hospital must:

If a pregnant woman comes to a hospital's emergency room, the hospital must:

What Do These Terms Mean under EMTALA?

While the law defines these terms, their meaning largely depends on the medical judgment of the doctor who is treating the patient. Below is a general interpretation of some common EMTLA terms:

When Can a Patient Be Transferred?

A patient whose condition has been stabilized can be transferred, if the following requirements are met: 

Do I Need an Attorney?

If you believe you have been denied medical treatment that is required under EMTALA, you should consider talking to a personal injury attorney. A personal injury lawyer can examine your case to determine if you were denied proper care, explain your legal options, and help you file a lawsuit if necessary.

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Last Modified: 07-28-2014 12:27 PM PDT

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