On Jan. 22, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced via a press release that, together with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), it will launch a series of actions to educate the public about their rights to emergency medical care and to help support efforts of hospitals to meet their obligations under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA).
According to the press release, the Department will:
- Publish new informational resources on CMS’s website to help individuals understand their rights under EMTALA and the process for submitting a complaint if they are denied emergency medical care;
- Partner with hospital and provider associations to distribute training materials on providers’ obligations under EMTALA;
- Convene hospital and provider associations to discuss best practices and challenges in ensuring compliance with EMTALA; and
- Establish a dedicated team of HHS experts who will increase the Department’s capacity to support hospitals in complying with federal requirements under EMTALA.
The plan was developed due to the number of inquries from patients and providers to CMS regarding how they can ensure federal obligations are being met.
The release adds that “CMS remains committed to helping all individuals—including patients who are experiencing pregnancy loss and other pregnancy-related emergencies—have access to the emergency medical care required under federal law.”
CMS has the full press release.