Although medical insurance is a necessity, there are a number of reasons that a person may not have access to it. They may be waiting for new coverage to take effect after taking on a new job or they may just not be able to afford to have insurance. Although people never plan to require medical treatment, the unexpected can sometimes occur when a person is in an accident. A person without coverage may be wondering if medical facilities or professionals can refuse to treat if they are not covered by a policy. The following outline if a doctor has the right to refuse medical treatment and whether or not they can do so for the sole reason of no insurance.
Laws regarding a doctor’s right to refuse treatment to somebody vary by state. For more specific advice surrounding a case, speaking with an attorney, like a medical malpractice lawyer trusts, regarding the details will be important. If you were refused emergency treatment and your condition became worse as a result, contacting an attorney is likely a good next step.
The Emergency Medical Treatment Act
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, by law a doctor must treat you regardless of whether or not you are able to pay for the care that you received. While there are some reasons for a doctor to refuse medical care, if a person is suffering from serious injuries they are entitled to treatment regardless of insurance.
When does a Doctor have the Right to Refuse?
There are a few reasons a doctor or medical professional may refuse to treat a person, including:
- If the person is not presenting with any illness
- Dangerous patient
- A patient who is addicted to drugs and is looking for a prescription for narcotics
- Non-Emergency Situations: If an office is not accepting new patients or has no available appointments
- If you waiting for a long time to receive treatment in an emergency room situation and you choose to leave, you were not actually denied treatment.
- Emergency Situations: the hospital will triage cases and see patients with the most emergent situations first. They are required by law to do this.
- For example, if you broke an arm and go to the emergency room, if a person were to come in with a brain injury or chest pains, they will be given priority.
- As a result, patients with lesser injuries may wait for longer periods of time before seeing a doctor.
If you were denied medical treatment, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. An attorney will be able to look over the details of your case and determine whether the medical care that you were not given was due to gross negligence of medical professionals.