Ohio Hospital Settles Case Involving Patient Dumping Allegation
On March 8, 2018, Paulding County Hospital (PCH), Paulding, Ohio, entered into a $50,000 settlement agreement with OIG. The settlement agreement resolves allegations that PCH violated the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act when it failed to provide an adequate medical screening and effectuate an appropriate transfer for a patient. The patient, a 33-week pregnant woman, presented to PCH's Emergency Department (ED) complaining of leaking fluids, pelvic pain, and vomiting. A nurse at PCH's ED brought the patient to an examination room. The nurse told the patient that the hospital did not have an obstetrician on-site, and that the patient could either start treatment at PCH and be transferred later, or that her male companion could drive her immediately to another hospital, where her obstetrician practiced. After being told this, the patient left PCH by private vehicle to another hospital, a thirty-minute drive. PCH never provided the patient or her unborn child a medical screening examination. At the receiving hospital, the patient underwent an emergency C-Section and delivered a male infant without a heartbeat. The receiving hospital's efforts to revive the infant were unsuccessful. Associate Counsel James Hansen represented OIG.
- Date:March 8, 2018
- CMP and Affirmative Exclusions