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There are times when you or a loved one will need emergency medical treatment. This means that most Americans will need to know some basics about emergency room laws and your rights.
The first thing you should know is that under federal law, most hospitals cannot deny you treatment even if you can't pay.
This law covers most medical facilities because it extends to all hospitals that participate in Medicare. This includes a vast majority of healthcare facilities. But just because they cannot deny you care does not mean you are freely given all services.
Applicable hospitals need to adhere to these general guidelines:
Also, don't expect to be treated straight away unless you're experiencing serious injuries or illnesses. Expect a wait. In 2007, the average waiting time for an emergency patient was 4 hours and 5 minutes.
State emergency room laws may vary. They may provide you with additional rights when it comes to your emergency medical treatment. The federal law simply provides a baseline.