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Iowa Hospital Settles Case Involving Patient Dumping Allegation

On April 30, 2018, Covenant Medical Center (Covenant) in Waterloo, Iowa, entered into a $90,000 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 adequate medical screening examination and stabilizing treatment for a patient and then inappropriately transferred them to another hospital. The patient, a 54-year-old man, arrived by ambulance to Covenant's Emergency Department (ED) complaining of shortness of breath, chest pain, and diaphoresis. The ED physician screened the patient and consulted the on-call cardiologist. The patient's condition worsened and he was intubated. On advice of the on-call cardiologist, the ED physician began transcutaneous pacing. The ED physician did not request the on-call cardiologist present to the ED nor did the on-call cardiologist present to the ED to examine and treat the patient. The ED physician requested transfer to a nearby hospital for placement of a transvenous pacemaker. The patient was transferred to the receiving hospital nearly three hours after he presented to Covenant's ED. The receiving hospital placed a transvenous pacemaker on the patient, but he expired shortly after. OIG alleged that Covenant's on-call cardiologist was capable of providing a transvenous pacemaker. Associate Counsel Madeline Bainer represented OIG.

Action Details

  • Date:April 30, 2018
  • Enforcement Types:
    • CMP and Affirmative Exclusions