EMTALA confusion: Clinically stable, stable for transfer, and stabilized

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The terms clinically stable and stable for transfer are frequently used by and familiar to emergency department and hospital staff. When it comes to compliance with the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) in hospitals, however, the key term is stabilized.

This article will provide clarity on the use of these important terms in everyday clinical practice as well as their impact on EMTALA complaint investigations. This information will be helpful to clinical, compliance, and administrative staff working in Medicare-participating hospitals.

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