Chapter 5: Key Laws in Healthcare Compliance

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Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act

Fast Facts

Title of law: Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA); Examination and treatment for emergency medical conditions and women in labor

Categories:

  • Discrimination in medical care

  • Emergency medical services

  • Health facilities

  • Medicaid

  • Medicare

U.S. Code: 42 U.S.C. § 1395dd

Year enacted: 1986

Major amendments: N/A

Enforcement agency: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

Link to full text of law: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2012-02-02/pdf/2012-2287.pdf

Applies to: Any hospital or health system that accepts payment from the Department of Health & Human Services Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services under the Medicare program for services provided to beneficiaries of that program. Provisions of the act are applicable to all patients, not just Medicare patients. Hence, it applies to almost all hospitals in the United States, aside from some private hospitals and military hospitals. 

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