George Breen Quoted in “Copay Collection Cannot Delay Care, or Hospital Risks EMTALA Violation”

Hospital Access Management May 2021

George B. Breen, Member of the Firm in the Health Care & Life Sciences and Litigation practices and Chair of the firm’s National Health Care & Life Sciences Practice Steering Committee, in the firm’s Washington, DC, office, was quoted in Relias Media’s Hospital Access Management, in “Copay Collection Cannot Delay Care, or Hospital Risks EMTALA Violation,” by Stacey Kusterbeck.

Following is an excerpt (see below to download the full version in PDF format):

Patients come to EDs seriously ill, injured, and worried, often without any identification or insurance card. In addition to all these challenges, ED registrars also have to keep the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) law in mind when collecting copays. …

In general, the key is to ensure any payment request does not impede the medical screening exam (MSE) or any needed stabilization services required to address an emergency medical condition, as defined under EMTALA, says George Breen, JD, chair of the National Health Care & Life Sciences Steering Committee at Epstein Baker Green in Washington, DC.

ED registrars should bring up payment or insurance only after a MSE and stabilizing treatment has been provided. This means a patient should not be asked about copays or payment during the MSE or while undergoing stabilizing treatment.