CMS Modifies Investigation Timelines for EMTALA Complaints and Death Associated with Restraint or Seclusion Investigations

PUBLISHED: Jun 11, 2019
Relevant to: Critical Access Hospitals, Hospitals

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that, effective immediately, the timeline for onsite investigations at Medicare participating facilities for EMTALA complaints and surveys of death related to restraint or seclusion has been changed.

For Hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals state surveyors are now required to be onsite to initiate their investigation within two business days (previously the requirement was five business days) for EMTALA complaints classified as immediate jeopardy and within 45 calendar days for non-immediate jeopardy – high categorization.

When a death is associated with restraint and/or seclusion surveyors are also required to be onsite within two business days.

Organizations are reminded that the following information should be included when reporting a death associated with restraint or seclusion to their CMS Regional Office:

  • Hospital name and address
  • NPI provider number
  • Patient name
  • Patient’s date of birth
  • Date of death
  • Name of attending physician/practitioner
  • Primary diagnosis(es)
  • Cause of death
  • Types of restraint or seclusion used
  • Date of admission
  • Date and time of death

Included with today’s notice is a link to the CMS Memorandum describing the updated inspection requirements. is an example policy outlining organizational requirements for reporting and documenting deaths associated with restraint and/or seclusion. Also included is an example policy outlining EMTALA guidelines for emergency departments.

Want to read the full alert and receive alert emails?

Browse Additional Alerts