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The Rules become “Reality EMTALA ”. Carole A. Klove, RN, JD Chief Compliance Officer and Privacy Officer (310) 825-7166 cklove@mednet.ucla.edu. History. EMTALA – “Anti-Dumping Act” Amended 1988 & 89 Final rule 1994 Amended 2002 Interpretation published November 2003. What Changed?.

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the rules become reality emtala

The Rules become “Reality EMTALA”

Carole A. Klove, RN, JD

Chief Compliance Officer and Privacy Officer

(310) 825-7166

cklove@mednet.ucla.edu

history
History
  • EMTALA – “Anti-Dumping Act”
  • Amended 1988 & 89
  • Final rule 1994
  • Amended 2002
  • Interpretation published November 2003
what changed
What Changed?

CMS changed how the regulations are interpretedand enforced

what did not change
EMC

Documentation

Stabilization

Signage

Transfer elements

Medical records

Central log

Sanctions

Reporting

Private lawsuits

What did not Change?
basic rules of the road
Basic Rules of the Road
  • EMTALA applies to
    • Individuals presenting to a “dedicated emergency department”
    • Off campus facilities and departments defined as “dedicated emergency departments”
    • Hospital owned ambulances – ground and air
basic rules of the road1
Basic Rules of the Road
  • EMTALA does not apply to
    • Outpatient settings
    • Individuals who are inpatients
individual
Comes to the DED

With respect to an individual who is not a patient, the individual presents to the DED requesting evaluation or treatment of a medical condition

Prudent layperson observer

Individual on hospital campus requesting treatment for an EMC; or

A prudent layperson observer believes the individual needs evaluation for EMC

“Individual”
dedicated emergency department
Dedicated Emergency Department

Meets at least one of the following:

  • Licensed under applicable state law as an ED
  • Held out to the public as a place that provides care on an urgent basis without requiring an appointment, or
  • During the previous calendar year at least 1/3 of all the outpatient visits were for the treatment of emergency medical conditions
hospital owned operated ambulance
Hospital Owned & Operated Ambulance

The examination or treatment of an individual in a ground/air ambulance owned & operated by a hospital is not subject to EMTALA, if it operates:

  • under community wide EMS protocols
  • at the direction of an MD who is not employed or affiliated with the hospital
diversion
Diversion
  • The hospital directs the ambulance to another facility because it does not have the capacity or capability to accept any additional emergency patients

Is this appropriate?

screening
Screening
  • Anyone presenting to the DED or hospital campus requesting treatment for a medical condition is entitled to a medical screening examination (MSE)
  • The MSE involves a process of sufficient scope to conclude, with reasonable clinical confidence, whether an emergency medical condition does or does not exist
change in interpretation
Change in Interpretation

If an individual comes to the dedicated emergency department and the nature of the request is clear that the condition is notan emergency, the requirement is to perform a screening appropriate for any individual presenting in the same manner.

stabilization
Stabilization
  • Provision of treatment for the EMC to ensure, within reasonable medical probability, that no material deterioration of the condition is likely to result from, or occur during, the transfer of the patient.
  • In the case of a woman in labor, the woman’s medical condition shall be considered stabilized if the woman has delivered the child and the placenta.
transfer
Transfer
  • An appropriate transfer includes determining capacity & capability
    • Receiving hospital has the capacity, e.g., beds to provide medical treatment
    • Receiving hospital has the capability to provide specialized services by qualified personnel
record requirements
Record Requirements
  • Hospitals shall maintain the following records & retain them for at least 5 years
    • Physician on call list
    • Central log
    • Transfer records
on call
On Call
  • “Best meets the need”
  • Roster requirements
  • Elective surgery & back up call
  • Frequency of call
  • Emergency physician & on call disagreements
  • Disparate response to requests
now that you know the rules reality emtala
Now that you know the Rules…. Reality EMTALA

Scenario No. 1

  • A patient is brought to a community hospital by a family member via private car. The family member found the individual “down”. X-rays depict a sub-arachnoid hematoma. There is no neurosurgeon on call.
  • What are your options?
now that you know the rules reality emtala1
Now that you know the Rules…. Reality EMTALA

Scenario No. 2

  • A 13 year old female is brought into the ED by the police under legal hold (detainment). It is determined by the ED attending that the child needs a psych consult. The psych consult determines that the child is a danger to herself. Parents cannot be located and you do not have an adolescent psych unit.
  • What do you do?
now that you know the rules reality emtala2
Now that you know the Rules…. Reality EMTALA

Scenario No. 3

  • A 42 year old mill worker presents with a significant crushing trauma injury to the hand and partially amputated digits. The emergency physician examines the patient and determines a hand and vascular consult is needed as part of the MSE. The vascular surgeon refuses to come to the ED.
  • What do you do?
now that you know the rules reality emtala3
Now that you know the Rules…. Reality EMTALA

Scenario No. 4

  • During a recent evening shift, an employee of your hospital is exposed to a needle stick and presents to the Emergency Department.
  • What obligations are now triggered?
key points
Key Points
  • Maintain a central log & on call list
  • Determine chief complaint & level of urgency (triage)
  • Define who can perform the MSE
  • Do not delay the MSE to verify method of payment, obtain insurance approval, etc.
  • Perform medically indicated tests to rule out or confirm EMC
key points1
Key Points
  • Stabilize the patient
  • Confirm capability & capacity when considering transfer
  • Document risks & benefits to support need for transfer
  • Provide appropriate transport
  • Maintain records for at least 5 years
emtala the potential punishment for failure to follow the regulations
EMTALA…the Potential Punishment for Failure to Follow the Regulations
  • Potential fine of up to $50,000 per patient incident
  • Termination from Medicare and Medicaid
  • Potential lawsuit for civil damages
  • Potential civil rights violations
  • Individual MDs can also be fined up to $50,000 per incident
  • Publication of the violation and penalty
questions answers
Questions & Answers

Carole A. Klove, RN, JD

Chief Compliance Officer and Privacy Officer

(310) 825-7166

cklove@mednet.ucla.edu