On this episode of Case In Point, Aaron Freiwald, Managing Partner of Freiwald Law, talks about the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act or EMTALA. EMTALA was enacted in 1986 and made it illegal for emergency departments to refuse to treat a patient because of their perceived inability to pay. The EMTALA act makes emergency departments evaluate and stabilize any patient that comes through the door.
Before EMTALA was enacted many emergency rooms utilized a practice called “dumping” or “patient dumping” where they would turn a patient away at the door even though that person might be in critical condition. Patients would sometimes have to travel over 20 miles to another hospital to try and get treatment. This practice was especially common for women in labor, thus the name Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act.
Today, Diane Black, a congress-woman from Tennessee is trying to remove EMTALA and let hospitals choose who they treat. Diane Black is a former Emergency Room nurse and is now running for the governor of Tennessee.
As history has shown us, when hospitals can choose who they treat and who they turn away, people who truly need care get left behind. EMTALA was not made to make emergency room workers jobs harder, it was enacted to protect patients.
Listen in and if you would like more information you can visit our website Freiwaldlaw.com and read a blog post Aaron wrote about EMTALA: https://www.freiwaldlaw.com/news-item/emtala
As always, let us know what you think!
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