Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) Requirements and Implications Related to Ebola Virus Disease (Ebola)
• Ebola and EMTALA requirements: This Memorandum conveys information useful in responding to inquiries from hospitals concerning
implications of Ebola for their compliance with EMTALA.
• EMTALA Screening Obligation: Every hospital or critical access hospital (CAH) with a dedicated emergency department (ED)
is required to conduct an appropriate medical screening examination (MSE) of all individuals who come to the ED, including
individuals who are suspected of having been exposed to Ebola, and regardless of whether they arrive by ambulance or are walk-ins.
Every ED is expected to have the capability to apply appropriate Ebola screening criteria when applicable, to immediately
isolate individuals who meet the screening criteria to be a potential Ebola case, to contact their state or local public health
officials to determine if Ebola testing is needed, and, when a decision to test is made, to provide treatment to the individual,
using appropriate isolation precautions, until a determination is made whether the individual has Ebola.
• EMTALA Stabilization, Transfer & Recipient Hospital Obligations: In the case of individuals who have Ebola, hospitals
and CAHs are expected to consider current guidance of public health officials in determining whether they have the capability
to provide appropriate isolation required for stabilizing treatment and/or to accept appropriate transfers. In the event
of any EMTALA complaints alleging inappropriate transfers or refusal to accept appropriate transfers, CMS will take into consideration
the public health guidance in effect at the time.
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Website: CMS strongly urges State Survey Agencies (SAs), hospitals and
CAHs to monitor the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/ for the most current guidance and information concerning
Ebola identification, treatment, and precautions to prevent the spread of the disease, as well as their State public health