Education event

EMTALA Seminar
Untangling complex issues for behavioral patients, transfers, on-call

Overflowing waiting rooms, psychiatric facility closures, and the inability to place patients are just a few of the factors that make it difficult to treat patients.


Hospitals work hard to care for patients and follow the law. But growing patient numbers and declining availability of emergency department services put hospitals at risk for an EMTALA violation.

The issues are not new—just more urgent than ever. Challenges surrounding capacity and capability, stabilization for transfer, medical screening exams, and on-call are common and persistent. Behavioral patients add another layer of complexity, especially with statewide closures of psychiatric units.

Expert faculty will untangle complex EMTALA issues. Health care attorney Steve Lipton will present the legal ramifications of troublesome transfer, on-call and behavioral issues. Commander Kelly Valente, EMTALA lead for CMS Region IX, will field enforcement and survey questions. Case studies, real and hypothetical, will be used to demonstrate potential EMTALA situations and how to stay compliant.

Seminar topics include: psychiatric holds and obligations for treatment; sending and receiving facility issues; capacity and capability; model community transfer and call agreements; and on-call issues including how much is enough. Plus, an update on the Interpretive Guidelines for community call and disasters, including surge situations such as the H1N1 virus, will also be covered. Extensive question and answer periods will allow time to delve into problem areas and explore solutions.

Free EMTALA manual. All attendees will receive a complimentary copy of CHA’s newly-updated manual, EMTALA—A Guide to Patient Anti-Dumping Laws.

This program fills up quickly. Register today!


  • All emergency department staff: department managers, medical directors, nurse managers and physicians
  • Behavioral health managers
  • Business office and admitting managers
  • Risk managers
  • Health care attorneys
  • Social workers
  • Discharge managers
  • Clinic staff and administrators
  • Compliance officers


8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Registration/check-in

9:00 a.m. – Noon

Behavioral Health Patients and EMTALA
   • Basic obligations for screening, stabilizing

Common and persistent problems with holds
   • Waiting for transfer

Hypothetical case scenarios
   • Defining an emergency medical condition
   • Stable for transfer, other facilities

Obligations for freestanding psychs

On-Call Issues

Community on-call
   • What the new regulations allow
   • Options for hospitals, call rotations
   • Important legal considerations

The magic number for on-call—how much is enough?
   • Hypothetical case scenarios
   • CDPH and CMS positions
   • EMTALA violations and immediate jeopardy

Noon – 1:00 p.m. Hosted Luncheon

1:00 – 4:00 p.m.


Reexamining the transfer process—getting it right
   • Laying the groundwork, communication tips

Troublesome transfer issues
   • Definition of a transfer “facility,” higher level of care
   • Transfer initiations—hospital vs. ambulance company
   • Transfer contracts, “take back” provisions

Receiving the patient—planning ahead, documentation

Community transfer agreement
   • Model plan—development, successes and challenges
   • Creating a transfer agreement with your area hospitals

EMTALA in Disaster Situations
   • Planning for a surge, upcoming flu season, H1N1 viru
   • CMS guidance



Registration and check-in 8:00 – 9:00 a.m.

Program 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (includes hosted luncheon)


October 7, Irvine
Hyatt Regency Irvine
17900 Jamboree Boulevard
Irvine, CA 92614
(949) 975-1234

October 8, Pasadena
Hilton Pasadena
168 South Los Robles Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 577-1000

October 13, Sacramento
Hyatt Regency Sacramento
1209 L Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 443-1234


Steve Lipton, JD, is a partner in Davis Wright Tremaine’s San Francisco office and the author of CHA’s manual, EMTALA—A Guide to Patient Anti-Dumping Laws. A noted expert on patient anti-dumping laws, he has worked extensively with hospitals on EMTALA civil sanction matters and on compliance interpretation, policy development and education.

CDR Kelly Valente, PharmD, USPHS, is a pharmacist surveyor and EMTALA lead for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid, Region IX. As team leader on EMTALA, CDR Valente is responsible for determining hospitals’ compliance with EMTALA, and to that end works closely with state surveyors and CMS’ Quality Improvement Organization. She has served as a CMS EMTALA trainer and presented information on EMTALA to associations and state government.

Frank Maas is the director of emergency services at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center in Torrance. Mr. Maas has over 30 years of emergency services experience through his work with Providence, St. Francis Medical Center and the UCLA Medical Center. Mr. Maas is currently Chair of California Hospital Association’s EMS/Trauma Committee.

Lynne Ashbeck is the regional vice president for the Hospital Council of Northern and Central California. Ms. Ashbeck works with hospitals from Bakersfield to Madera and on the Central Coast on multiple issues including nursing education, workforce development, emergency medical services, disaster planning, and other local and regional issues.



Member Rate—$325
Non-Member Rate—$450

Tution includes EMTALA manual, CEUs, lunch and course materials. On-site registrations and any unpaid registrations as of the date of the meeting will be charged an additional 10% fee.

Conference Cancellation Policy:
A $50 non-refundable processing fee will be retained for each cancellation received in writing no later than seven days prior to the program date. No refunds will be made after this date. Substitutions are encouraged. Cancellation and substitution notification may be faxed to (916) 552-7637 or e-mailed to

Americans with Disabilities Act:
If you require special accommodations pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, contact the California Hospital Association at (916) 552-7637.

Call the Education Department at (916) 552-7637.


Full attendance at the educational session is a prerequisite for receiving professional continuing education credit. Attendees must sign in at the seminar and, when required, include their state bar or professional license number. Certificates of attendance will be available.

Compliance—Application has been made to the Health Care Compliance Certification Board for approval to award Health Care Compliance Association continuing education credit for this seminar.

Health Care Executives—Application has been made to award Category II (non-ACHE) continuing education credit for this program toward advancement, recertification or reappointment in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Legal—CHA is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider. This activity has been approved for 5.5 hours of MCLE credit.

Nursing—Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider #CEP 11924, for 6.6 Contact Hours.

Risk Managers—Application has been made to the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management (ASHRM) for approval to award Continuing Education Credit toward fulfillment of the requirements of ASHRM designations of FASHRM (Fellow) and DFASHRM (Distinguished Fellow), and toward CPHRM renewal.

Social Work—This course meets the qualifications for 5.5 hours of continuing education credit for MFTs and LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.


EMTALA — A Guide to Patient Anti-Dumping Laws

All seminar attendees will receive a free copy of CHA’s newly updated manual, EMTALA — A Guide to Patient Anti-Dumping Laws. In a question and answer format, the manual provides guidance to hospitals and physicians on how to comply with the Act and clarifies situations to which EMTALA applies.

Changes in this edition include CMS guidance on flexibility under EMTALA during a disaster including an influenza pandemic; new Cal/OSHA rules regarding transfers; a model transfer agreement; updated Interpretive Guidelines; community call panels; new transfer acceptance checklist; and a new provision in the Health and Safety Code regarding financial considerations.

Written by
M. Steven Lipton, Esq., Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP
(Seventh edition, October 2009)


  • Overview of Patient Anti-Dumping Laws
  • When and Where Does EMTALA Begin and End
  • Medical Screening Examinations
  • Financial Considerations – EMTALA and Managed Care
  • Transferring or Discharging and Emergency Patient
  • Patient Refusal of Stabilizing Treatment or Transfer
  • Obligations of Receiving Hospitals
  • Maintenance of the Central Log
  • Required Signage
  • Physician On-Call Responsibilities
  • Reporting Patient-Dumping Violations
  • Regulatory Enforcement of EMTALA
  • Private Actions to Enforce EMTALA
  • Quality Improvement and Risk Management
  • Application of EMTALA to Disasters and Public Health Emergencies

Appendixes include a model EMTALA compliance policy, federal and state laws and regulations, enforcement guidelines and other useful information for meeting EMTALA obligations.

How to Order
If you can’t make it to the seminar or would like an additional copy of the manual, click here to place your order.

Attendee Lists

Click here to view the Irvine attendees.

Click here to view the Pasadena attendees.

Click here to view the Sacramento attendees.

Contact Us

Registration Questions:

Brooke Robinson, Education Coordinator & Registrar
(916) 552-7637

Lauryn Dickinson, Education Assistant
(916) 552-7522

Robin Campbell, Administrative Assistant
(916) 552-7550

Program Questions:

Liz Mekjavich, Director of Education
(916) 552-7500