CMS releases EMTALA guidance: 5 takeaways

CMS released new EMTALA guidance June 27 that reaffirms the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, which was passed in 2002, according to JD Supra.

1. The Born-Alive Infant Protection Act states that an "infant … born alive at any stage of development" is a "person" and has the same rights and protections as other patients, according to JD Supra.

2. CMS released a Medicare Learning Network publication on June 27 that reaffirms that "EMTALA protections start for an infant at time of birth." The MLN publication further states: "A newly born infant is presumed to be presenting with an emergency medical condition and requires a medical screening examination to determine necessary stabilizing treatment. EMTALA requires physicians and other qualified practitioners to provide care within nationally accepted standards of practice."

3. The MLN publication states that a hospital must stabilize the emergency medical condition if it has the capabilities to do so. If the hospital lacks the capabilities to stabilize, it must arrange an appropriate transfer of the infant to another hospital with specialized capabilities.

4. The MLN publication also touches on the topic of parental consent, according to JD Supra.

5. CMS recommends healthcare professionals providing prenatal care discuss potential emergency situations with pregnant women throughout their pregnancy. "The discussions should reference potential emergencies and serious conditions that may occur to the pregnant woman, her unborn fetus, and born-alive infant," states the MLN post. "Clarifying patient preferences prior to an emergency situation may assist in the decision making process for both the patient and her healthcare provider."

Access the full JD Supra article here.

Access the full MLN publication here.

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