EMTALA: Three Hospitals Settle Federal Complaints for Failure to Screen

October 1, 2012 | Healthcare Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​Three hospitals have agreed to settle complaints brought by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General (OIG) alleging that they failed to properly screen patients who came to the emergency department (ED) under EMTALA. Discussions of the settlements are available on OIG's website at http://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/enforcement/cmp/patient_dumping.asp.

In the first case, settled in February 2012, a Florida hospital agreed to pay $45,000 after a patient was refused treatment because the hospital did not accept the patient's insurance. The patient, who was autistic, was brought to the ED after he physically attacked his mother. In the ED, a clinical psychologist asked for the patient's insurance information. When it was revealed that the hospital did not accept the patient's insurance, the patient's mother was instructed to...

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