42 cfr 489.24 -- special responsibilities of medicare hospitals in emergency cases
a) applicability of provisions of this section.
(1) in the case of a hospital that has an emergency department, if an individual (whether or not eligible for medicare benefits and regardless of ability to pay) "comes to the emergency department", as defined in paragraph (b) of this section, the hospital must-- (i) provide an appropriate medical screening examination within the capability of the hospital's emergency department, including ancillary services routinely available to the emergency department, to determine whether or not an emergency medical condition exists. the examination must be conducted by an individual(s) who is determined qualified by hospital bylaws or rules and regulations and who meets the requirements of 482.55 of this chapter concerning emergency services personnel and direction; and ....
4) delay in examination or treatment.
(i) a participating hospital may not delay providing an appropriate medical screening examination required under paragraph (a) of this section or further medical examination and treatment required under paragraph (d)(1) of this section in order to inquire about the individual's method of payment or insurance status.
(ii) a participating hospital may not seek, or direct an individual to seek, authorization from the individual's insurance company for screening or stabilization services to be furnished by a hospital, physician, or nonphysician practitioner to an individual until after the hospital has provided the appropriate medical screening examination required under paragraph (a) of this section, and initiated any further medical examination and treatment that may be required to stabilize the emergency medical condition under paragraph (d)(1) of this section.
(iii) an emergency physician or nonphysician practitioner is not precluded from contacting the individual's physician at any time to seek advice regarding the individual's medical history and needs that may be relevant to the medical treatment and screening of the patient, as long as this consultation does not inappropriately delay services required under paragraph (a) or paragraphs (d)(1) and (d)(2) of this section. (iv) hospitals may follow reasonable registration processes for individuals for whom examination or treatment is required by this section, including asking whether an individual is insured and, if so, what that insurance is, as long as that inquiry does not delay screening or treatment. reasonable registration processes may not unduly discourage individuals from remaining for further evaluation
interpretation: if they've been screened by triage rn, then ok to ask about insurance. ok for clerk to start asking to fill out forms while awaiting to be seen as long as doesn't delay exam.