CMS Clarifies Hospital and CAH EMTALA Obligations for Drive Through Testing

On April 30, 2020, CMS updated its FAQs on EMTALA obligations during the COVID-19 public health emergency.  Specifically, drive through testing sites that have been established for COVID-19 testing alone, including on a hospital campus, do not have EMTALA implications. However, EMTALA would still apply if a patient who was seeking only COVID-19 testing made a request for medical treatment while on the hospital campus (e.g., parking lots, ER ambulance bays, etc.). If the person complains of or exhibits any symptoms of a medical condition, then that person should receive an appropriate MSE to determine whether an EMC exists. The revised FAQs are available here.

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