A Guide to Patient "Anti-Dumping" Laws


The EMTALA Manual cuts through the legalese to help you navigate the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act — or “patient-dumping” law — that was enacted to ensure patients equal access to emergency services without regard to financial or insurance status. 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 a new chapter to help hospitals address the
complexities of applying EMTALA to psychiatric patients, clarification on asking
emergency patients for financial/insurance information and aggressive debt
collection activities, California law change allowing emergency services to
be provided by non-physician practitioners in specified situations, important
information regarding QIO/HSAG reviews and hearings, update regarding
EMTALA obligation waivers during disasters and public health emergencies,
and more.

(494 pages, Eighth edition, 2012)


  • Overview of Patient-Dumping Laws
  • When and Where Does EMTALA Begin and End
  • Medical Screening Examinations
  • Financial Considerations — EMTALA and Managed Care
  • Transferring or Discharging an Emergency Patient
  • EMTALA and Psychiatric Emergency Patients
  • 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
  • 20 useful appendixes including statute, regulations and Interpretive Guidelines