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246-453-050  <<  246-453-060 >>   246-453-070

PDFWAC 246-453-060

Denial of access to emergency care based upon ability to pay and transfer of patients with emergency medical conditions or active labor.

(1) No hospital or its medical staff shall adopt or maintain admission practices or policies which result in:
(a) A significant reduction in the proportion of patients who have no third-party coverage and who are unable to pay for hospital services;
(b) A significant reduction in the proportion of individuals admitted for inpatient hospital services for which payment is, or is likely to be, less than the anticipated charges for or costs of such services; or
(c) The refusal to admit patients who would be expected to require unusually costly or prolonged treatment for reasons other than those related to the appropriateness of the care available at the hospital.
(2) No hospital shall adopt or maintain practices or policies which would deny access to emergency care based on ability to pay. No hospital which maintains an emergency department shall transfer a patient with an emergency medical condition or who is in active labor unless the transfer is performed at the request of the patient or is due to the limited medical resources of the transferring hospital. Hospitals must follow reasonable procedures in making transfers to other hospitals including confirmation of acceptance of the transfer by the receiving hospital.
(3) The department shall monitor hospital compliance with subsections (1) and (2) of this section. The department shall report to the legislature and the governor on hospital compliance with these requirements and shall report individual instances of possible noncompliance to the state attorney general or the appropriate federal agency. For purposes of monitoring compliance with subsection (2) of this section, the department is to follow all definitions and requirements of federal law.
(4) Except as required by federal law and subsection (2) of this section, nothing in this section shall be interpreted to indicate that hospitals and their medical staff are required to provide appropriate hospital-based medical services, including experimental services, to any individual.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 70.170.060. WSR 91-05-048 (Order 142), ยง 246-453-060, filed 2/14/91, effective 3/17/91.]
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