EMTALA: Conception and Impact
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It is a fact that emergency room visits in the past two decades have increased from 99 million visits in 1983 to 115 million in 2003. With the number of visits increasing nearly 13% in a two decade time span, one would think that the number of emergency facilities would be on the rise as well. This, however, is not the case. The American College of Emergency Physicians reported that in the same time frame the number of emergency rooms nationwide has in fact declined by nearly one-third?thus driving the question, what is causing emergency departments to close? Intriguingly, the answer to this question lies within the congressional records of 1985 and 86?, the two years leading up the passage of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act.