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Newton Medical Center in Kansas Settles EMTALA Case

A Newton, Kansas hospital that failed to provide an adequate medical screening examination for a pregnant woman who was later admitted to another hospital and gave birth to a stillborn baby has agreed to pay $45,000 to settle allegations by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that those actions violated the Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act (EMTALA). The OIG alleged that Newton Medical Center failed to provide an adequate medical screening examination for a patient who presented to Newton's emergency department 38-weeks pregnant and complaining of abdominal and lower back pain. Newton did not take the patient's medical history, take any vitals, conduct fetal monitoring, test for fetal movement, or perform any exam on the patient. Instead, Newton instructed the patient to see her personal physician. The patient left Newton by private vehicle and presented at the emergency department of another hospital where she was admitted and delivered a stillborn baby. The settlement, effective March 17, 2015, resolves Newton's civil monetary penalties liability under EMTALA. The maximum penalty under EMTALA for a large hospital is $50,000. Senior Counsel Geeta Taylor and Associate Counsel David Fuchs represented OIG.

Action Details

  • Date:March 17, 2015
  • Enforcement Types:
    • CMP and Affirmative Exclusions