April 01, 2021

Hospital Access Management Seeks Doug Swill’s Insight on Emergency Department Best Practices for Collecting Copays

In the Hospital Access Management article “Copay Collection Cannot Delay Care, or Hospital Risks EMTALA Violation,” health care partner Doug Swill described how emergency departments (EDs) should properly collect copays to avoid an Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) violation.

“The cardinal rule to remember is that reasonable registration practices are fine,” said Swill. “This generally means that staff are not pursuing financial responsibility answers and determinations while the patient who has an emergency medical condition is unreasonably delayed in receiving the medical screening exam (MSE) — or worse, stabilizing medical treatment,” he added.

Regarding EDs collecting copays before an MSE or a stabilizing treatment is provided, Swill said, “It could likely subject the hospital to potential EMTALA violations — or, at the very least, a very challenging response to a federal or state survey team sent to the hospital to assess whether such registration practices violated EMTALA.”

The full article is available for Hospital Access Management subscribers.

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