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Caldwell Medical Center Settles EMTALA Case

Caldwell Medical Center, a small hospital in Princeton, Kentucky, has settled allegations that it failed to evaluate a patient's head pain or provide stabilizing treatment. A 72-year old woman lost consciousness and fell face-first onto a concrete floor. She regained consciousness about five hours later, called an ambulance, and was taken to Caldwell's Emergency Department (ED). She had bruising and abrasions on her nose, two black eyes and a skin tear on her right arm. She complained of severe pain in her face and head. Her abrasions and skin tear were cleaned and she was discharged home a little over one hour after she arrived in the ED. She did not receive any diagnostic tests, including a CAT Scan, and she received no treatment for her head pain. The patient continued to have pain: she could not chew and she vomited blood. The next morning she called an ambulance again and returned to Caldwell's ED. This time she received an appropriate medical screening exam, which revealed multiple head fractures. She was then transferred to a hospital with neurosurgery capabilities and she underwent several surgeries and was discharged thirteen days later. Caldwell agreed to pay $10,000 in a settlement with the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services effective December 29, 2014. Senior Counsel Sandra Sands represented OIG.

Action Details

  • Date:December 29, 2014
  • Enforcement Types:
    • CMP and Affirmative Exclusions