Tuesday, May 22, 2007


The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently clarified two EMTALA issues for its state survey agency directors.

The first memo, dated April 26, 2007, [http://www.cms.hhs.gov/SurveyCertificationGenInfo/PMSR/itemdetail.asp?filterType=none&filterByDID=0&sortByDID=3&sortOrder=descending&itemID=CMS1198795&intNumPerPage=10] states that all hospitals must be able to evaluate persons with emergencies, provide initial treatment, and refer or transfer these individuals when appropriate, regardless of whether the hospital has an ED. To be in compliance with the Medicare Conditions of Participation (CoPs), a hospital cannot rely on 9-1-1 services to provide appraisal or initial treatment of individuals in lieu of its own capability to do so. The guidance does not apply to critical access hospitals.

The other memo, dated April 27, 2007, [http://www.cms.hhs.gov/SurveyCertificationGenInfo/PMSR/itemdetail.asp?filterType=none&filterByDID=0&sortByDID=3&sortOrder=descending&itemID=CMS1198926&intNumPerPage=10] relates to emergency transport services and the transfer/acceptance of patients. It specifically addresses a July 13, 2006, Survey and Certification letter concerning "parking" of individuals transported by (EMS) to hospitals.


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