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Freestanding Emergency Departments Required Consumer Notices

Concerning a requirement that a freestanding emergency department inform a person who is seeking medical treatment about the health care options that are available to the person, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
2018 Regular Session
Health Care & Health Insurance
Bill Summary

Freestanding emergency departments - required notices and disclosures - state board of health rules - appropriation. The act requires a freestanding emergency department (FSED), whether operated by a hospital at a separate, off-campus location or operating independently of a hospital system, to provide any individual who enters the FSED seeking treatment a written statement of patient information, which an FSED staff member or health care provider must explain orally and which must indicate that:

  • The facility is an emergency medical facility that treats emergency medical conditions;
  • For FSEDs that do not include an urgent care clinic on site, the facility is not an urgent care center or primary care provider;
  • For FSEDs that include an urgent care clinic on site, the facility contains an urgent care center and operates at specified hours;
  • The FSED will screen and treat the individual regardless of ability to pay;
  • The individual has a right to ask questions about treatment options and costs and to receive prompt and reasonable responses;
  • The individual has a right to reject treatment;
  • The FSED encourages the individual to defer questions until after being screened for an emergency medical condition; and
  • The facility will provide the patient a more comprehensive statement of patient's rights after initial screening or treatment, as applicable.

Additionally, an FSED must post a sign that states, "This is an emergency medical facility that treats emergency medical conditions." The sign must also indicate whether the facility contains an urgent care clinic.

After conducting an appropriate medical screening and determining that a patient does not have an emergency medical condition or after treatment has been provided to stabilize an emergency medical condition, the FSED must provide the patient a written disclosure, which must include information regarding acceptance of patients enrolled in public health plans, participation in health insurer provider networks, the possibility of being separately billed by physicians providing services at the FSED, the maximum price for common health care services the FSED provides, and facility fees the FSED charges.

The FSED must also post the information in the written disclosure on its website and update the written and web-based disclosure at least once every 6 months. Additionally, the FSED must provide all information in a clear and understandable manner and in languages appropriate to the communities and patients it serves.

The state board of health is authorized to adopt rules to implement and enforce the requirements of the act.

$34,725 is appropriated from the health facilities general licensure cash fund to the health facilities and emergency medical services division in the department of public health and environment for administration and operations.

(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)


Became Law


Bill Text

The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details