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Georgia Hospital Settles Case Involving Patient Dumping Allegation

On November 4, 2019, Hospital Authority of Valdosta and Lowndes County d/b/a South Georgia Medical Center (SGMC), Valdosta, Georgia, entered into a $40,000 settlement agreement with OIG. The settlement agreement resolves allegations that, based on OIG's investigation, SGMC violated the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) when it failed to provide examination and treatment by its on-call urologist for a 27-year old male. Specifically, on June 18, 2014, the patient presented to SGMC's Emergency Department (ED) complaining of pain from an episode of priapism lasting five days. He was seen by an ED physician who contacted SGMC's on-call urologist. The urologist, however, did not come in to the ED to further examine or treat the patient. Instead, the urologist requested that the patient be transferred to another hospital for treatment. The transfer did not take place for more than eight hours and was to a hospital approximately 150 miles away. Priapism is a serious medical condition and delaying proper treatment can lead to penile injury, necrosis, or loss. The patient's transfer was medically inappropriate and put the patient at further risk by delaying needed medical treatment. Senior Counsel Sandra Sands represented OIG.

Action Details

  • Date:November 4, 2019
  • Enforcement Types:
    • CMP and Affirmative Exclusions