Emergency physicians believe that all Americans deserve health care coverage. While nearly 70 percent of emergency care services goes uncompensated or undercompensated, emergency physicians are committed to providing this care because otherwise many patients would go without treatment.
Unlike most physicians, emergency physicians are prohibited by law from discussing with a patient any potential costs of care or insurance details until they are screened and stabilized. This is an important patient protection enacted under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) that ensures care is focused on immediate medical needs. However, it also means that patients often do not fully understand the potential costs that could be involved in their care or the limitations of their insurance coverage until they get the bill.