Regardless of your health insurance coverage, and no matter what your financial situation is, the vast majority of hospitals in the United States are obligated to treat you if you are suffering from a medical emergency. It’s true. Under the 1986 Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), it is illegal for any hospital that accepts payment from the Medicare program to turn you away and refuse treatment – a practice known as “patient dumping.”
What are some possible examples of patient dumping?
- When a hospital fully capable of caring for your health issue transfers you to another hospital.
- When a hospital transfers you to another hospital without stabilizing you or properly screening you first.
- When a hospital refuses you medical care because of your inability to pay.
- When a hospital discharges you early without stabilizing your health issues.
- When a hospital refuses to accept the transfer of a patient for inappropriate reasons.
- When a hospital leaves a patient in a waiting room without treatment during an emergency situation.
- When a hospital delays your emergency medical treatment because of your lack of insurance or Medicare status.
What are your rights as a patient under EMTALA?
- Full screening and stabilization by the hospital during an emergency medical situation – regardless of your financial situation, health care coverage, or Medicare coverage.
- Medical treatment free of delays due to your financial or insurance situation.
- The prompt transfer to another hospital if your current hospital does not have the ability to care for your medical needs appropriately.
- If you are in labor, prompt medical treatment through the child delivery process, unless a transfer is required for specialized medical care at a different hospital.
If you or a loved one have had your patient rights violated under the Emergency Medical Treatment Act or believe you were a victim of patient dumping, you may be able to recover damages through a Texas medical malpractice lawsuit. When a hospital refuses care, delays care, or prematurely ends care, they are being negligent. When a hospital is negligent, they are liable for damages.
Would you like to speak with a Texas medical malpractice attorney? Call Rasansky Law Firm at 1-877-405-4313 and schedule a complimentary, private meeting with a medical error lawyer today.