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CMS Issues FAQs for Psychiatric Hospitals on Complying with EMTALA

For Chief Legal Counsel, Licensing and Certification Staff, Quality and Patient Safety Staff

This post has been archived and contains information that may be out of date.

On July 2, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a memo to state survey agency directors including frequently asked questions (FAQs) that address common inquiries from psychiatric hospitals about compliance with the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA).

While all Medicare-participating hospitals, including psychiatric hospitals, are required to comply with EMTALA, there has been confusion and misconceptions about these obligations in psychiatric hospitals.

CMS does not make any changes to EMTALA requirements, but rather attempts to clarify the screening, stabilization, and recipient hospital requirements for psychiatric hospitals. The memo and FAQs could be a helpful resource both for surveyors and psychiatric hospitals.