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Memorial Health Care System Settles EMTALA Case

A small hospital in Hixson, Tennessee, that failed to provide stabilizing treatment to an 18 year-old with severe pain and multiple broken bones, has settled allegations by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that it violated the Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act. EMTALA requires hospitals to provide stabilizing treatment to anyone with an emergency medical condition. The patient came to the emergency room of Memorial North Park, one of Memorial Health Care System's satellite hospitals, with severe pain in his feet, ankles, and right shin after jumping from a twenty foot wall and landing on concrete. Although Memorial had an orthopedic surgeon on call, the emergency room staff did not consult with him nor did they provide treatment for the patient's pain or splint his legs before transferring him to the trauma center. The trauma center ultimately did not consider the patient a trauma case. The hospital agreed to pay $20,000 in a settlement agreement with the OIG, effective December 29, 2014. Under EMTALA , the maximum penalty for hospitals with fewer than 100 beds is $25,000. Senior Counsel Sandra Sands represented OIG.

Action Details

  • Date:December 29, 2014
  • Enforcement Types:
    • CMP and Affirmative Exclusions