Treatment first, payment later — that’s the law at the ER


Beau Cabell | The Telegraph

An ambulance is pictured outside the Medical Center, Navicent Health, (then The Medical Center of Central Georgia) in this 2009 file photo. Federal law requires all Medicare-participating hospitals with emergency departments to medically screen and stabilize any patient in need of emergency care.

Are emergency response personnel, such as paramedics, allowed to question patients about their ability to pay for service in the U.S.?

That was the question posed to us by a reader through Macon Me Curious, a new project of the Center for Collaborative Journalism in partnership with The Telegraph and GPB Macon. Macon Me Curious takes questions from the community and assigns reporters to find the answers.

Health care costs are a hot topic among politicians, patients and medical professionals, but one question is not up for debate. Emergency departments must treat anyone seeking emergency medical care, regardless of the patient’s ability to pay.

Read the rest of the story here.