1986 – Ending Hospital “Dumping”

1986 – Ending Hospital “Dumping” Timelines: National Health Law Program Timeline

The Federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, also known as EMTALA or the Patient Anti-Dumping Law, was enacted by Congress in 1986 to stop hospitals that receive federal funds from refusing emergency care to low-income individuals. The law requires most hospital emergency departments to medically screen all patients who seek emergency care and to stabilize those with medical emergencies before transferring them to another facility, regardless of their health insurance status or ability to pay. The National Health Law Program strongly advocated for the law and was central to seeing it enacted.

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