Federal Advocacy

By oath and by law, emergency physicians will treat anyone, regardless of their ability to pay. The federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), enacted in 1986, actually forbids emergency care providers from discussing with a patient any potential costs of care or details of their particular insurance coverage until they are screened and stabilized. For most emergency physicians the thought of payment doesn’t even enter their minds—they are there to help, and potentially save your life.

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) advances emergency care on behalf of its 40,000 emergency physician members, and the more than 150 million Americans they treat on an annual basis.

ACEP is an active force in Washington, DC, working on important issues that affect emergency physicians and their patients. ACEP's federal advocacy efforts revolve around one thing: ensuring that life-saving emergency care is there when you need it. Through its grassroots network of emergency physicians and the National Emergency Medicine Political Action Committee, ACEP represents the largest, and most influential voice for emergency medicine.

In addition, to advocacy on Capitol Hill, ACEP monitors and responses to federal regulations and other policies developed by federal agencies. We advocate on behalf of emergency physicians and their patients to reduce burdensome administrative requirements that impact the ability for patients to receive the care they need. We also work to improve federal reimbursement and eliminate unfair billing practices instituted by payers that potentially violate federal laws and regulations such as EMTALA and the prudent layperson standard.