Do undocumented aliens end up getting after receiving emergency care?

  1. I am curious. What happens when a hospital tries to claim funds under the EMTLA for an undocumented alien? Does the government track down the patient, after they have been treated, and start deportation proceedings?

    I have always wondered about this. Does anyone actually know?
  2. Visit DolceVita profile page

    About DolceVita, RN

    Joined: Jun '09; Posts: 1,581; Likes: 1,240
    Registered Nurse; from UK
    Specialty: 6 year(s) of experience in Correctional Nursing

    52 Comments

  3. by   lpnstudentin2010
    well they probably give a fake name so....
  4. by   Katnip
    I don't know that hospitals report them to the INS. Probably not.
  5. by   Tweety
    No that does not happen.

    I wouldn't be comfortable with that. It's not our job to police illegals by reporting them to a government agency.
  6. by   DolceVita
    I am not saying hospitals report them, but hospitals do have to claim money, from the government, for treating them. One presumes that when they make this claim some patient info must be provided (to prevent false claims by providers). So when this happens surely this puts an undocumented person squarely on the grid (yes, assuming they gave valid details).
  7. by   oramar
    Someone once posted here that the same expectant mother came to their clinic under 3 assumed names on 3 different occasions. I think the nurse said something to the fact that she told the person to try and use the same name to assure continuity of care. I don't know if the patient was to dumb to remember the name they gave the last time they were there or if they thought they would be less likely to be turned in. I would like to see the government go after the employers that bring them here to get reimbursement for the care that is given. There has been talk about that in Congress.
  8. by   Itzallgood
    Quote from Tweety
    No that does not happen.

    I wouldn't be comfortable with that. It's not our job to police illegals by reporting them to a government agency.
    Sorry, But you should report them.

    It is a Federal Crime to enter the USA Illegaly.

    I bet you would report child abuse in a heartbeat.
  9. by   KateRN1
    Quote from Itzallgood
    Sorry, But you should report them.

    It is a Federal Crime to enter the USA Illegaly.

    I bet you would report child abuse in a heartbeat.
    Nurses are mandated reporters to child abuse, not to illegal immigration.
  10. by   cookienay
    THe law has clearly indicated time and time again that we have a DUTY to report child abuse. We also have a DUTY to provide competent care to those in our charge regardless of how we feel about how or why they are here. We do not have a duty to report illegal immigrants. Yes, it is a federal crime to enter the US illegally, however it is not in our scope of practice to police such activities.
  11. by   Itzallgood
    Quote from cookienay
    THe law has clearly indicated time and time again that we have a DUTY to report child abuse. We also have a DUTY to provide competent care to those in our charge regardless of how we feel about how or why they are here. We do not have a duty to report illegal immigrants. Yes, it is a federal crime to enter the US illegally, however it is not in our scope of practice to police such activities.
    Police will not deal with Illegals they try to wash their hands of them as well, just like you are trying to do.

    Illegals bring diseases into the USA and can put Americans health at risk.

    In USA we need a new mindset regarding Illegals, Stop giving them free medical and education, and living assistance.
  12. by   gandrad0
    Not all illegal aliens carry diseases. Not all illegal aliens are here because it was their choice to be here. Many are brought as children and see the U.S as their home. Plus, many of them pay off their bills faster than any U.S. citizen or resident. As long as they are paying for services provided we shouldn't have a problem with it.
  13. by   Blee O'Myacin
    Since when is it a nurse's job to become a border patrol guard? If a sick person comes to my ER seeking medical assistance, they will be seen as outlined by EMTALA. No matter what their circumstances or ability to pay. Medical personnel should not be expected to police their patients, it's a clear conflict of interest and ethically wrong. (And comparing child abuse to crossing a border without proper paperwork is like comparing apples to oranges.)
  14. by   NRSKarenRN

    the emergency medical treatment and active labor act (emtala) is a united states act of congress passed in 1986 as part of the consolidated omnibus budget reconciliation act. it requires hospitals and ambulance services to provide care to anyone needing emergency treatment regardless of citizenship, legal status or ability to pay. there are no reimbursement provisions. as a result of the act, patients needing emergency treatment can be discharged only under their own informed consent or when their condition requires transfer to a hospital better equipped to administer the treatment.


    http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/emtala

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