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Emtala assures emergency treatment.
Learning Goal: I'm working on a nursing writing question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn. Discuss the right of psychiatric providers to refuse care to established patients based on the inability to pay copays or a substantial balance. Florida laws include a Florida Patients’ Bill of Rights and Responsibilities under Title XXIX, Chapter 381, Statute 381.026. Under section 7d, the statement is made that the patient has a right to medical treatment regardless of the source of payment (Online Sunshine, 2022). The 1986 Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) legally guarantees a patient treatment when they present for an emergency medical condition (CMS, 1986). My clinical site has mostly insured patients. Their self pay patients became so after losing their insurance. I have seen several patients who have a large financial balance. As any of who have been patients know, patients sign paperwork to agree to financial responsibilities. My question centers around psychiatric patients who are on medications that can cause antidepressant withdrawal syndrome if discontinued (Tusaie, and Fitzpatrick, 2022). Benzodiazepines used for a long periods can cause withdrawal. Patients who stop taking their antipsychotics may become very unstable. EMTALA assures emergency treatment. We usually think of this in terms of the Emergency Department. If we do not see and assess a patient, how would we know if he or she is an emergency. This is especially complicated by telehealth. The patient may be suicical or homicidal or become so off of medications. If we refuse to continue care, do we as providers bear liability for bad outcomes due to abandonment? I know the emergency department will see any psychiatric complaint, but in my experience, they are likely to only prescribe a small number ofdoses for routine medications. Then the patient is instructed to see their personal care provider.

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