EMTALA (EMERGENCY MEDICAL TREATMENT AND ACTIVE LABOR ACT)

The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, codified at 42 U.S.C. 1395dd. EMTALA requires any Medicare-participating hospital that operates a hospital emergency department to provide an appropriate medical screening examination to any patient that requests such an examination. If the hospital determines that the patient has an emergency medical condition, it must either stabilize the patient's condition or arrange for a transfer; however, the hospital may only transfer the patient if the medical benefits of the transfer outweigh the risks or if the patient requests the transfer. CMS regulations at 42 C.F.R. 489.24(b) and 413.65(g) further clarify the statutory language.

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