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senate Bill S. 468

Access to Emergency Medical Services Act of 2009

Bill Details

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Access to Emergency Medical Services Act of 2009

Official Title

A bill to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to improve access to emergency medical services and the quality and efficiency of care furnished in emergency departments of hospitals and critical access hospitals by establishing a bipartisan commission to examine factors that affect the effective delivery of such services, by providing for additional payments for certain physician services furnished in such emergency departments, and by establishing a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Working Group, and for other purposes.


Access to Emergency Medical Services Act of 2009 - Establishes the United States Bipartisan Commission on Access to Emergency Medical Services to: (1) identify and examine factors in the health care delivery, financing, and legal systems that affect the effective delivery of screening and stabilization services furnished in hospitals that have emergency departments pursuant to the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA); and (2) make specific recommendations to Congress with respect to federal programs, policies, and financing needed to assure the availability of such screening and stabilization services and the coordination of state, local, and federal programs for responding to disasters and emergencies. Amends title XVIII (Medicare) of the Social Security Act to provide for additional payments for certain physicians' emergency services furnished pursuant to EMTALA. Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services, acting through the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, to convene a working group that includes experts in emergency care, inpatient critical care, hospital operations management, nursing, and other relevant disciplines to develop boarding and diversion standards for hospitals and guidelines, measures, and incentives for implementation, monitoring, and enforcement of such standards. Requires the CMS working group to: (1) identify barriers contributing to delays in timely processing of patients requiring admission as inpatients who initially sought care through the hospital's emergency department; (2) identify best practices to improve patient flow within hospitals; and (3) report to Congress and the Secretary a detailed description of the standards, guidelines, measures, and incentives developed, as well as identified barriers and best practices. Directs the Secretary to establish a mechanism to make public information regarding any hospital that fails to report information requested by the CMS working group.

bill Progress

  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Finance
    IntroducedFebruary 25th, 2009

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