The 1986 Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, or EMTALA, mandated that hospitals offering emergency services must ensure that all patients receive equivalent care, regardless of their ability to pay. Under EMTALA, hospital emergency departments are required to maintain a list of on-call physicians able to respond to requests for specialty care, also regardless of the patient’s insurance status or ability to pay.
Explore this issue:June 2006
‘Hospitals will have to decide, if they’re going to provide ER service, that they have to pay a per diem for the people to do that.’
Often called the “anti-dumping” law, EMTALA was enacted to provide a safety net for uninsured and underinsured patients in the United States (Ann Emerg Med. 2001; 37(5):495–499). However, 20 years after its enactment, that safety net is in danger of unraveling due to many factors (Am J Emerg Med. 2004; 22(7):575–581). For instance, many specialists and subspecialists, who in the past used emergency department call as one way to build a practice, are now refusing to participate in call panels.| | | Next → | Single Page