Overview

Hospitals, health systems, and providers turn to attorney Emma Pelkey for their regulatory compliance and litigation needs.

Emma counsels clients on issues related to behavioral health, patient care, EMTALA, HIPAA, capacity and consent for treatment, workplace violence, risk management, barriers to discharge, and provider operations. Whether she is advising clients or litigating cases in state or federal court, she is known for using creative problem-solving skills and her ability to think outside the box to help clients navigate complex legal problems and respond to crisis situations in a way that promotes good patient care.  She is frequently called upon to advise on state and federal regulatory compliance issues, review and develop policies and procedures, provide training and education, and assist with investigations, surveys, and monitoring visits.

Over the past decade, Emma has become a go-to advisor for complex legal and regulatory issues that arise in the behavioral health space. In that role, she has developed a proven track record of success in helping community hospitals and providers advocate on behalf of their patients to receive meaningful treatment in appropriate long-term settings and improve access to behavioral health services for individuals in the community.

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In addition to her behavioral health know-how, Emma leverages her extensive litigation experience to advise clients in managing risks and ensuring compliance. She has experience litigating cases involving health care, employment, products liability, professional liability, business, and data security disputes. In the employment space, her experience includes conducting workplace investigations, providing advice and counsel to employers, and defending employers on a wide range of employment law issues, including discrimination and harassment, disability accommodations, and terminations. 

Emma is a frequent speaker and author on behavioral health issues, EMTALA, and workplace violence. She serves as the risk management subcommittee chair of the Behavioral Health Practice Group for the American Health Law Association.

Before joining Epstein Becker Green, Emma was a partner of a national law firm and a member of its Healthcare, Behavioral Health, Labor & Employment, and Healthcare Regulatory & Compliance Practices.

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Focus Areas

Recognition

Credentials

Education

  • University of Oregon School of Law (J.D., 2014)
    • Managing Editor, Oregon Law Review
  • Lewis and Clark College (B.A., 2009)

Bar Admissions

Court Admissions

Professional & Community Involvement

  • American Health Law Association, Behavioral Health Practice Group, Chair of Risk Management Subcommittee
  • Oregon Law Students Public Interest Fund, Community Board Member

Media

Events

Upcoming Events

Past Events

  • Client Seminar: No Exit – Legal Solutions for Difficult to Discharge Patients
  • Washington State Hospital Association Annual Meeting: Escalation: Workplace Violence in Healthcare Settings
  • Oregon State Bar Health Law Section CLE: Workplace Violence in Behavioral Health and Acute Care Settings
  • Navigating Behavioral Health Issues: The ITA, EMTALA, and Difficult-to-Discharge Patients
  • American Health Law Association, Long Term Care and the Law Conference: The IMD Exclusion and Federal Funding for Mental Health Treatment
  • Searches and Contraband in Behavioral and Acute Care Hospitals
  • Defending the Mental Health Professional: Emerging Risks, Claims & Defenses
  • American Health Law Association: New EMTALA Guidance Addressing Psychiatric Hospitals and Patients with Behavioral Health Emergencies
  • Behavioral Health EMTALA: Latest Developments
  • American Health Law Association: EMTALA Turned 30 - Enforcement Trends and How to Ensure Compliance in 30 Minutes

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