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Running head: MORAL DILEMMAS AND ETHICAL DECISIONS1Moral Dilemmas and Ethical DecisionsCortnee GravittCapella UniversityPolicy, Law, Ethics and RegulationsBSN-FP4006Colleen HarrisSeptember 19, 2019
MORAL DILEMMAS AND ETHICAL DECISIONS2Moral Dilemmas and Ethical DecisionsDue to recent ethical and safety issues that occurred during the triaging of two patients at a local area hospital it is important that we look at our own triage practices and procedures within the Emergency Department. It is imperative that best care practices and policies are understood and employed to ensure we are meeting the expectations and goals of not only our patient population but the community as well. Furthermore, we must make certain we are exceeding the benchmarks set in place by federal, state and hospital policies for patient safety and outcomes during the triage process. Laws Affecting Emergency CareThe Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) is a statute that was enacted in 1986 and requires all hospitals that receive federal funding through Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide a medical examination and necessary stabilizing medical treatment to any patient that comes to the emergency department for attentionto an emergency medical situation. This medical examination must be performed in a non-discriminatory way regardless of the patients’ ability to pay or health insurance status.This unfunded law leaves the financial costs for healthcare treatment for uninsured and indigent populations on the healthcare organization. (American College of Emergency Physicians, 2019) Hospitals found in violation of this law and the imposed regulations can face a civil monetary penalty of up to $50,000 per occurrence and may have their provider agreement through CMS revoked. This severe sanction known as “Medicare Death” is an incentive for hospitals to ensure compliance with EMTALA or face losing reimbursement. (American College of Emergency Physicians, 2019)
MORAL DILEMMAS AND ETHICAL DECISIONS3Decision-Making Strategies for Nurses in Triage