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|User Info||The Mental Disease Called Liberalism (Health Reform); entered at 2012-05-05 12:28:03|
Registered: 2010-12-02 East Texas
Thanks to EMTALA, many indigent and low-income pregnant women in Houston quit depending solely on the county hospital system for prenatal and delivery care. OB care in labor and delivery units at not-for-profit and private hospitals went from a system in which a patient would contact her doctor if she thought she may need to go to the hospital, the doctor would call L&D, an L&D nurse would be assigned, the nurse would pull and review the prenatal record which the OB's office had sent at 36 weeks gestation and would prep the room and the papers. EMTALA (IMO) had a perverse effect on obstetric care. Women who received prenatal care through the publicly-funded hospitals often turned and dropped into the ERs at the nonsystem hospitals. Usually, they arrived without any records. The doctors and nurses would have to start over from scratch to take histories and obtain consents. Houston is an international city. I've dealt with patients in L&D who spoke little English and could communicate effectively only Spanish, or Mandarin, or Cantonese, or Vietnamese, or Urdu, or an Arabic dialect, or even other languages. The communication factor slowed down delivery of care even with a translator. EMTALA injected more risk and more of a sense of entitlement into an area that already was a cash cow for malpractice attorneys.