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May 05, 2023

HHS Releases EMTALA Enforcement Guidance

On May 1, 2023, HHS released a statement from HHS Secretary Becerra and a letter that the Department sent to hospital and provider associations with EMTALA enforcement guidance.  Specifically, CMS has launched investigations of two hospitals for failing to provide stabilizing treatment to a pregnant patient who presented at 18 weeks of pregnancy with preterm premature rupture of membranes.  Due to this rupture of membranes, her pregnancy was no longer viable.  Physicians did not provide the recommended treatment, however, because it could be considered to be abortion, which hospital policy prohibited.  CMS identified this failure to treat as a violation of EMTALA.  Becerra emphasized that the EMTALA requirements have not changed and continue to require necessary stabilizing treatment regardless of recent changes in some states’ laws.

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