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Fransie Macarthur Antoine HMGT 372: Legal and Ethical Issues in Healthcare Failure to Treat Patients in a Timely Manner Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) January 25, 2020
Recently, issues with patient access to healthcare have been on the rise. Patients run into a problem where they can’t receive direct medical care in a timely manner which creates difficulty for the patient as well as the hospital or facility that they use to receive care. Patients sought primary care in emergency departments but would get turned away because of matters such as the inability to provide health insurance. Another issue is a patient’s confidentiality and the right that they have to choose to disclose personal medical information. This essay will discuss both legal obligations under the Emergency Medical and Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) as well as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that give patients access to healthcare as well as privacy to personal information at Adventist Healthcare. The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act ( EMTALA) was enacted by Congress in 1986 as part of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) of 1985 (42 U.S.C. §1395dd) (American College of Emergency Physicians, 2019). Referred to as the "anti-dumping" law, EMTALA was designed to prevent hospitals from transferring uninsured or Medicaid patients to public hospitals without, at a minimum, providing a medical screening examination to ensure they are stable for transfer. EMTALA enforces that medical care be given to any potential patient regardless of whether he/she has insurance. As a result, local and state governments began shifting this public responsibility to all hospitals (American College of Emergency Physicians, 2019). Adventist Healthcare has a number of legal obligations that its staff must abide by when a patient is receiving care. These legal obligations fall under the understanding of EMTALA and give the patient rights. Adventist Healthcare states that a patient has the right to get an electronic
or paper copy of their medical record and other health information. A patient has the right to ask to correct their health information if they think it’s incorrect or incomplete. An example of a

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