The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services May 1 announced two investigations of hospitals that allegedly did not offer necessary stabilizing care to an individual experiencing an emergency medical condition in violation of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act. 
“As we have made explicitly clear: we will use the full extent of our legal authority, consistent with orders from the courts, to enforce protections for individuals who seek emergency care — including when that care is an abortion,” said Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra. 
Becerra also sent a letter to hospital and provider associations across the country today reminding them that it is a health care provider’s professional and legal duty to offer necessary stabilizing medical treatment to a patient who presents to a covered emergency department and is found to have an emergency medical condition (or, if appropriate, to transfer them). 
In a May 1 statement, AHA General Counsel and Secretary Melinda Hatton said, “Hospitals and health systems across the United States take seriously their obligations under EMTALA. While we cannot comment on the specifics of any case, the AHA routinely provides advice to our members about EMTALA requirements. Last July, we shared advice with our membership about HHS’s updated EMTALA guidance and Secretary Becerra’s related letter. And last August, we filed an amicus brief in support of the Department of Justice’s case seeking to enforce EMTALA in Idaho. As we explained in that brief, it is critical that providers have clarity across state and federal law about what care they may — and, in the context of EMTALA, must — provide, and the AHA will continue to work to obtain that necessary clarity.”

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