South Carolina Health System That Failed to Provide Psychiatric Care Hit with Largest Ever EMTALA Settlement

July 12, 2017 | Strategic Insights for Health System


​A not-for-profit health system in South Carolina has agreed to pay the largest ever settlement under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), according to a July 6, 2017, article in Modern Healthcare. The three-hospital system will pay nearly $1.3 million to settle allegations regarding 36 incidents in 2012 and 2013 in which it held psychiatric patients in its emergency departments (EDs) without providing appropriate psychiatric treatment. Instead of being examined and treated by on-call physicians or stabilized and treated in a psychiatric unit, the settlement says, patients were treated by ED physicians and kept in the ED for anywhere from 6 to 38 days.

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