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Georgia Hospital Settles Case Involving Patient Dumping Allegation

On December 26, 2017, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (Phoebe Putney), Albany, Georgia, entered into a $50,000 settlement agreement with OIG. The settlement agreement resolves allegations that Phoebe Putney violated the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act when it failed to accept an appropriate transfer. A 54-year-old man presented to another hospital's Emergency Department (ED) suffering from a subdural hematoma. A CT scan showed that this subdural hematoma was on top of a previous hematoma. The patient needed to be evaluated by a neurosurgeon, which was not available at that hospital. Accordingly, the ED physician at the transferring hospital attempted to transfer the patient to Phoebe Putney for neurosurgical services. Phoebe Putney treated the patient approximately one week earlier for the previous hematoma. Phoebe Putney refused to accept the transfer when it had both the capabilities and capacity to treat the patient. Subsequently, the patient was transferred to another hospital and immediately admitted to its neuro ICU, where he remained for several days before being discharged. Senior Counsel Sandra Sands represented OIG.

Action Details

  • Date:December 26, 2017
  • Enforcement Types:
    • CMP and Affirmative Exclusions