Can a Hospital Refuse Patients Without Health Insurance


The Emergency Medical and Treatment Labor Act (EMTLA) conceded by the Congress in 1986 plainly prevent the denial of care to indigent or uninsured patients based on their inability to pay.

© Franz Pfluegl –

Both private and public hospitals are obliged to render medical treatment to any patient in need of it regardless if the patient doesn’t have any insurance.

It is the right of every human being to be served proper medical treatment especially in emergency situations. It is a must that hospitals will be able to provide an emergency room as well as facilities to the ones who needs it the most.

Not providing medical treatment to patients just because there is an absence of insurance is punishable by the federal law. Fines up to $50,000 shall be served to hospitals that violated EMTALA, maximum of $25,000 if the hospital only has a number of less than a hundred hospital beds. In addition to this, CMS also has the right to cease its Medicare contract with the institution.

On the other hand, the law doesn’t require free health services from any hospital. The nursing home has all the right to seek payment of the hospitalization bill through their process of debit collection. In cases that the amount has gone unpaid, the hospital can ask for court proceedings and thus take back the amount due through property seizure or bank levies.

The law provides protection for both the patient and the hospitals. Provided the fact that the clients are not to be rejected health care due to absence of insurance, the hospital still has the right to bill the client of the amount due and through proper proceedings, enforce ways to have the client settle his outstanding balance to the institution; in this state of equilibrium, patients and hospitals should work together for the betterment of each other.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here