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Newly Revised Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act Regulations

Leaving Patients Knocking on the Hospital Door?

By Lourdes A. Rivera, Randolph Boyle, Jane Perkins & Sarah Somers

In response to hospital emergency room patient dumping, Congress enacted the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act of 1986. The enforcement body, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, issued its new regulations in September 2003. The relaxed tenor of the new regulations could deter proper patient care, especially for persons unable to afford health care. Community awareness, education, and enforcement will be key elements to the Act's effectiveness in protecting patients.

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