The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, passed by the United States Congress in 1986, ensures that the public receive access to emergency medical services, without regard as to whether or not that individual has sufficient funds to pay for those services. Congress enacted EMTALA, in part, after a growing number of allegations in which private hospitals had refused to treat individuals that did not have the resources to pay for medical services. These hospitals would “dump” patients on publicly funded hospitals that were already overcrowded with sick patients.
Under EMTALA, hospitals with an emergency department are required to:
- provide an appropriate medical screening examination to any individual who comes to the emergency department;· to provide necessary stabilizing treatment to an individual with an emergency medical condition or an individual in labor;