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Iowa Hospital Settles Case Involving a Patient Dumping Allegations

On January 17, 2017, Covenant Medical Center (Covenant) in Waterloo, Iowa, entered into a $100,000 Settlement Agreement with OIG. The Settlement Agreement resolves allegations that Covenant violated the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act when it failed to provide an appropriate psychiatric screening examination or stabilizing treatment for three patients who presented to the emergency department (ED) when an on-call psychiatrist was available. A woman presented to the ED complaining of depression and suicidal thoughts, but was later discharged with instructions to follow-up with her primary care physician. A child presented to the ED following violent outbursts, but was later discharged with instructions to follow-up with his primary care physician. A man presented to the ED stating his mind was "disturbed," but later eloped from the ED into single degree weather wearing paper scrubs while his discharge was processed. His body was found about 300 feet from Covenant with the cause of death attributed to hypothermia. Senior Counsel Henry Green and Associate Counsel Madeline Bainer represented OIG.

Action Details

  • Date:January 17, 2017
  • Enforcement Types:
    • CMP and Affirmative Exclusions