Press Releases



The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced the appointment of a new technical advisory group (TAG) that will review regulations affecting hospital and physician responsibilities under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) to individuals who come to the hospital seeking treatment for a medical condition. The TAG, which was required by the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA), is charged with helping CMS develop rules that will protect individual rights while minimizing unnecessary burdens on health care providers. 

EMTALA, which was enacted by Congress in 1986, requires hospitals with emergency rooms to provide an appropriate medical screening when a person comes to the hospital and requests treatment for a medical condition.  If an emergency medical condition is detected, the hospital must either stabilize the individual or transfer him or her to another facility.  The law specifically extends its protection to women who come to the hospital in labor.

“The panel members I am announcing today are distinguished in their fields of expertise and have practical experience with the EMTALA regulations,” said CMS Administrator Mark B. McClellan, M.D., Ph.D.  “I look forward to receiving their input on ways we can improve EMTALA policies to continue to protect individuals who come to the hospital seeking treatment for an emergency condition, while relieving unnecessary burdens on the hospitals and physicians who care for them.”

The advisory group, which will meet at least twice a year, consists of 19 members as specified in the MMA. Included among the 19 are the Administrator of CMS, the agency that has primary responsibility for investigating EMTALA complaints, and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Inspector General (OIG), which is authorized to impose sanctions on violators.   The other 17 members have been appointed by the HHS Secretary from nominations submitted by interested groups and individuals. 

The MMA requires that four members be representatives of hospitals, at least one of which must be a public hospital, and that seven members be practicing physicians drawn from the fields of emergency medicine, cardiology or cardio-thoracic surgery, orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, pediatrics or a pediatric subspecialty, obstetrics-gynecology, and psychiatry.   In addition, the TAG must have two patient representatives, two CMS regional office staff who have been involved with EMTALA investigations, one state survey agency representative, and one representative from a Quality Improvement Organization which is responsible for reviewing EMTALA cases involving questions of medical judgment.   A list of the members of the EMTALA TAG is attached.

The TAG will hold its first meeting on March 30-31, 2005.  More details will be published in a notice in the March 15 Federal Register.  For more information, see

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TECHNICAL ADVISORY GROUP (alphabetical order)

Cesar A. Aristeiguieta, M.D.

Emergency Physician and Medical Director

LA County Paramedic Training Institute

Los Angeles , CA


Carol L. Bayer, M.D.

Psychiatrist and VP for Medical Affairs

East Jefferson General Hospital

Metairie , LA


James L. Biddle, M.D.


McAllen , TX


Azzie Conley, R.N.

Assistant Section Chief for Acute Care

NC State Survey Agency

Raleigh , NC


Warren A. Jones, M.D.

Physician and Executive Director

MS State Medicaid Director

Jackson , MS


Gretchen A. Kane

Health Quality Review Specialist and

EMTALA Coordinator,

CMS Region IX

San Francisco , CA


John A. Kusske, M.D.

Neurosurgeon and Chair, Dept. of Neurological Surgeons

UCI Medical Center

Orange , CA


Daniel Levinson

Acting Inspector General

Department of Health and Human Services

Washington , D.C.

(Alternate: Gregory Demske)


Dr. Mark B. McClellan

Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Department of Health and Human Services

Baltimore , MD

(Alternate: Leslie Norwalk)


Julie Mathis Nelson, J.D.

Attorney and Partner

Coppersmith Gordon Schermer Owens & Nelson, P.L.C.

Phoenix , AZ



James Nepola, M.D.

Orthopedic Trauma Surgeon

Chair, Orthopedic Trauma Association

Iowa City , IA


Mark Pearlmutter, M.D.

Emergency and Internal Medicine

Chief, Dept. of Emergency Medicine

St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center

Boston , MA


Carlos Perez

Senior VP/Executive Director

South Manhattan Healthcare Network

New York , N.Y.


Richard Perry, M.D.

Surgeon and Physician

Phoenix , AZ


Brian Robinson

President and Chief Executive Officer

HCA Las Vegas Market

Las Vegas , NV


Michael J. Rosenberg, M.D.

Cardiologist and Interventional Cardiologist

Assistant Professor of Medicine

University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine

Park Ridge , IL


David Siegel M.D., J.D.

Emergency and Internal Medicine Physician

Senior Physician Consultant and Clinical Coordinator

Florida Medical Quality Assurance (Quality

        Improvement Organization)

Tampa , FL


David W. Tuggle, M.D.

Pediatric Surgeon and Vice Chair

Department of Surgery

University of Oklahoma College of Medicine

Oklahoma City , OK


Charlotte S. Yeh, M.D.

Emergency Physician

CMS Regional Administrator, Region I

Boston , MA