View Poll Results: Should the hospital treat you or wait until they know if you can pay

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  • The hospital should treat you

    31 86.11%
  • They should find out if you can pay before treating you

    2 5.56%
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Thread: Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act

  1. #1
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    Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act

    You decide you need a little fresh air, so you go outside for a little stroll. Because you don't expect to be out long, or do anything of note, you leave without your wallet or purse and have no identification on you.

    While you're walking, a car goes out of control, jumps the curb and mows you down. You're knocked unconscious and you have several life-threatening injuries. An ambulance quickly arrives, scoops you up and brings you to the hospital where they have no idea who you are or if you are able to pay for the care you need.

    Should the hospital treat you or should they wait until they can make certain you can your bill for the care they're going to give you?

    Just a refresher for some of the more important points:

    1) You're at the hospital
    2) You're unconscious
    3) The hospital has no idea who you are of it you can pay
    4) You're dying
    Quote Originally Posted by matchlight View Post
    Justice Thomas' opinions consistently contain precise, detailed constitutional analyses.
    Quote Originally Posted by jaeger19 View Post
    the vast majority of folks that need healthcare are on Medicare.. both rich and poor..

  2. #2
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    Re: Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act

    Life threatening injuries? Absolutely they should be treated.

    No ifs, buts or maybes.

  3. #3
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    Re: Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act

    The story only starts with the treatment. After the treatment and the patient is out of a life threatening situation, the question of payment needs to be addressed.

    We have but two options once the care givers (including the ambulance service) ask the patient for payment 1) they get paid (that may include a payment plan over time) 2) they do not get paid. In the event of option #2, or missing a payment on option #1's plan, the patient has committed theft so they should be arrested just as one that removes an item from a store without paying for it would be. The idea that "society" must simply eat the cost of care by paying ridiculous prices when they can pay for care, to cover the losses incurred for those that will not pay, is insane.

    There is a third option, that some seem to prefer, which is UHC. As I understand it that means that the (federal?) gov't will pay the care provider. But that option is tricky; because who gets to set the billing amount? This is the biggest issue that I have with UHC, besides how much taxation is required to pay for this UHC "right".
    Last edited by ttwtt78640; 12-03-13 at 07:29 PM.
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    Re: Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act

    I havn't bothered to check but believe hosp. are required by law to treat.

    Dear doctor, dear doctor, I need to be fixed
    the ER is open, I'm between and betwixt
    A hard spot and a rock while
    the clock keeps going tick tock .
    Is this my final day ?
    Will you work without pay ?
    Me thinks, only you can say.
    Tick tock tick tock
    Tick tock

    Apologies to all poets

    Thom Paine

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    Re: Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act

    Quote Originally Posted by ttwtt78640 View Post
    The story only starts with the treatment. After the treatment and the patient is out of a life threatening situation, the question of payment needs to be addressed.
    true, but my poll doesn't address that. Only the emergency treatment

    We have but two options once the care givers (including the ambulance service) asks the patient for payment 1) they get paid (that may include a payment plan over time) 2) they do not get paid. In the event of option #2, or missing a payment on option #1's plan, the patient has committed theft so they should be arrested just as one that removes an item from a store without paying for it would be.
    an unconscious person committed theft?

    Are you sure you're conscious?
    Quote Originally Posted by matchlight View Post
    Justice Thomas' opinions consistently contain precise, detailed constitutional analyses.
    Quote Originally Posted by jaeger19 View Post
    the vast majority of folks that need healthcare are on Medicare.. both rich and poor..

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    Re: Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act

    The problem with the EMTALA is that the definition of a "Emergency Medical Condition" is incredibly broad. For example, a fever is considered to be an EMC. (Here)

    In the scenario in the OP the hospital would probably get reimbursed through the drivers insurance but the real problem comes up when the treatment is for chronic drug addiction or mental health conditions of the homeless. Since we no longer have state run mental health hospitals these people all end up in the ER and, under the EMTALA, can't be discharged until they are "fixed".

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    Re: Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act

    Quote Originally Posted by sangha View Post
    true, but my poll doesn't address that. Only the emergency treatment



    an unconscious person committed theft?

    Are you sure you're conscious?

    I am quite sure that I am conscious and that I stated only after the patient has recovered from emergency treatment is the issue of payment addressed. Are you implying that since the treatment was "mandatory" that no bill is due for it?
    “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself.
    Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

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    Re: Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act

    Quote Originally Posted by ttwtt78640 View Post
    The story only starts with the treatment. After the treatment and the patient is out of a life threatening situation, the question of payment needs to be addressed.

    We have but two options once the care givers (including the ambulance service) ask the patient for payment 1) they get paid (that may include a payment plan over time) 2) they do not get paid. In the event of option #2, or missing a payment on option #1's plan, the patient has committed theft so they should be arrested just as one that removes an item from a store without paying for it would be. The idea that "society" must simply eat the cost of care by paying ridiculous prices when they can pay for care, to cover the losses incurred for those that will not pay, is insane.

    There is a third option, that some seem to prefer, which is UHC. As I understand it that means that the (federal?) gov't will pay the care provider. But that option is tricky; because who gets to set the billing amount? This is the biggest issue that I have with UHC, besides how much taxation is required to pay for this UHC "right".
    So you went for a jog and brought no ID with you. You have a stroke or got hit by a car or both. A citizen calls 911 a ambulance shows up takes you to the nearest ER, you cannot tell them anything because you are unconscious. And you have no ID on you at all no one knows you. Unfortunately your injuries were severe and you were in a coma for months, and no one was able to contact anyone that knows you. You wake up and cant remember your name or anything important. No money cant pay the huge bills that you owe for months of care and that ride to the hospital.

    At least you wont have a clue how screwed it is to be in jail now.

  9. #9
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    Re: Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act

    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    The problem with the EMTALA is that the definition of a "Emergency Medical Condition" is incredibly broad. For example, a fever is considered to be an EMC. (Here)

    In the scenario in the OP the hospital would probably get reimbursed through the drivers insurance but the real problem comes up when the treatment is for chronic drug addiction or mental health conditions of the homeless. Since we no longer have state run mental health hospitals these people all end up in the ER and, under the EMTALA, can't be discharged until they are "fixed".
    1) This thread isn't about every condition covered by EMTALA

    2) You are misrepresenting what EMTALA requires of ER's when it comes to drug addiction and mental health.
    Quote Originally Posted by matchlight View Post
    Justice Thomas' opinions consistently contain precise, detailed constitutional analyses.
    Quote Originally Posted by jaeger19 View Post
    the vast majority of folks that need healthcare are on Medicare.. both rich and poor..

  10. #10
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    Re: Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act

    Quote Originally Posted by ttwtt78640 View Post
    I am quite sure that I am conscious and that I stated only after the patient has recovered from emergency treatment is the issue of payment addressed. Are you implying that since the treatment was "mandatory" that no bill is due for it?
    No, I merely asked if you think the hospital should treat the person without first ascertaining if they can pay for the care.
    Quote Originally Posted by matchlight View Post
    Justice Thomas' opinions consistently contain precise, detailed constitutional analyses.
    Quote Originally Posted by jaeger19 View Post
    the vast majority of folks that need healthcare are on Medicare.. both rich and poor..

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