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California Hospital Settles EMTALA Case Involving Patient Dumping Allegations

Olive View - UCLA Medical Center - a county hospital in Sylmar, CA - entered into a settlement agreement with the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, effective May 23, 2014. The $40,750 settlement resolves allegations that Olive View violated the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, (EMTALA), by failing to provide an individual with an appropriate medical screening examination (MSE) within the capability of the hospital's emergency department in order to determine whether he had an emergency medical condition. Specifically, the individual presented to the Olive View emergency department with signs of appendicitis and severe abdominal pain that he rated at a 10 on a 10-point scale. Despite his severe pain and symptoms, he was forced to wait for several hours to receive an MSE. After waiting for 6.5 hours, he left to seek medical screening and treatment at another hospital, where he was diagnosed with acute appendicitis with a large peritoneal abscess and had to undergo an immediate laparoscopic appendectomy. According to EMTALA, if an individual comes to a hospital emergency department and a request is made on his/her behalf for examination or treatment for a medical condition, the hospital must provide for an appropriate MSE within the capability of the emergency department to determine whether or not an emergency medical condition exists. OIG was represented by Associate Counsel Odies Williams, IV. Olive View was represented by Brandi M. Moore of the Los Angeles County Counsel's Office.

Action Details

  • Date:May 23, 2014
  • Enforcement Types:
    • CMP and Affirmative Exclusions