Any patient who "comes to the emergency department" requesting "examination or treatment for a medical condition" must be provided with "an appropriate medical screening examination" to determine if he is suffering from an "emergency medical condition". If he is, then the hospital is obligated to either provide him with treatment until he is stable or to transfer him to another hospital in conformance with the statute's directives.
When the initial EMTALA legislation was enacted in 1986, emergency physicians were finding it virtually impossible to find specialists willing to come to the emergency department to treat emergency patients, and that the 1988 amendments to the EMTALA statute making it explicit that physicians are covered by on-call requirements have significantly improved the availability of on-call services in hospital emergency departments.
You might be saying to yourslef, duh! EMTALA has been around 25 years, we know this stuff!
I beg to differ. Hospitals throughout the US are getting reported and cited often enough to make me no, think that not everyone is aware of how EMTALA and on-call go toghther, or better yet, how they should go together.
If you work in the Medical Staff Office, the Telecom Center or the Emergency Department and are interested in:
- EMTALA Statutes
- EMTALA Definitions
- No no's regarding EMTALA and on-call
- Mandatory reporting
- Penalties and fines for non-compliance
We have just released new White Paper "EMTALA / On-Call Practioners & The Hospital". Click on the button below to learn more.