Friday, August 12, 2005


From Modern Physician

Three hospitals settle EMTALA allegations

Three hospitals paid a total of nearly $60,000 in July to settle 'patient-dumping' allegations made by HHS' inspector general's office, Modern Healthcare has learned.

Dominican Hospital, Santa Cruz, Calif., agreed to pay $33,000 to resolve allegations that it violated the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) when it failed to perform an adequate medical screening on one patient and stabilize another. Dominican is a 276-bed facility owned by San Francisco-based Catholic Healthcare West.

Lakeside Hospital, a 75-bed facility in Metairie, La., owned by Nashville-based HCA, agreed to pay $20,000 to settle two incidents of alleged patient-dumping in which the government said the hospital's emergency staff failed to assess the conditions of two patients. In both cases, the ER staff allegedly told the patients to go to other facilities without screening them first, as required by EMTALA.

Hickman Community Hospital, a 25-bed critical-access hospital in Centerville, Tenn., owned by St. Louis-based Ascension Health, agreed to pay $5,000 to resolve two allegations that the hospital failed to conduct medical screenings and raised questions about insurance that could have deterred patients from seeking treatment there.


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