Ask HRC: EMTALA Compliance in the ED and Labor and Delivery Unit

September 8, 2009 | Healthcare Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance


A Healthcare Risk Control(HRC) member recently asked for advice on how hospital emergency departments (ED) and labor and delivery units can meet Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) requirements to provide a medical screening exam and stabilizing treatment to individuals who come to the hospital’s ED with an emergency medical condition.

As defined by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and EMTALA regulations, individuals with an “emergency medical condition” address pregnant women and their unborn children. An emergency condition exists if the absence of immediate medical attention would put the health of the pregnant woman or her unborn child in serious jeopardy. Additionally, an emergency medical condition exists for a pregnant woman experiencing contractions who cannot be safely transferred to another hospital...

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