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DCH Regional Medical Center Settles EMTALA Case

Effective October 30, 2014, DCH Regional Medical Center-a 583-bed hospital located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama-entered into a settlement agreement with the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to resolve its civil monetary penalties liability under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA). DCH paid $40,000 to settle allegations that it violated EMTALA by failing to conduct an appropriate medical screening examination and provide stabilizing treatment to a patient who came to the DCH emergency department with an emergency medical condition. Specifically, the patient came to the DCH emergency department with a gunshot wound in his abdomen region. The emergency department physician determined that the on-call general surgeon needed to evaluate and treat the patient and the staff contacted the on-call general surgeon multiple times. The on-call general surgeon indicated that he was performing a previously scheduled elective surgery in the operating room. DCH's emergency department was unable to find another general surgeon to evaluate and provide stabilizing treatment to the patient. The on-call general surgeon then performed a second previously scheduled elective surgery in the operating room without first evaluating and providing stabilizing treatment to the patient in the emergency department. After waiting approximately two hours at DCH, the patient died, never having received an evaluation or stabilizing treatment from a general surgeon.

Action Details

  • Date:October 30, 2014
  • Enforcement Types:
    • CMP and Affirmative Exclusions