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South Carolina Hospital Settles Case Involving Patient Dumping Allegations

On June 23, 2017, AnMed Health (AnMed), in Anderson, South Carolina, entered into a $1,295,000 settlement agreement with OIG. The settlement agreement resolves allegations that, in 36 incidents investigated by OIG, AnMed violated the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA). In these incidents, individuals presented to AnMed's Emergency Department (ED) with unstable psychiatric emergency medical conditions. Instead of being examined and treated by an on-call psychiatrist, and despite empty beds in its psychiatric unit to which the patients could have been admitted for stabilizing treatment, the patients were involuntarily committed and kept in AnMed's ED for between 6 and 38 days each. The following is an example of one such incident. A patient presented to AnMed's ED via law enforcement with psychosis and homicidal ideation and was involuntarily committed. The patient did not receive psychiatric examination or treatment by available AnMed psychiatrists and was not admitted to the psychiatric unit for stabilizing treatment. Instead, the patient was kept in the ED for 38 days and at one point was seen by a psychiatrist from another facility that was familiar with her condition. The psychiatrist prescribed a variety of medications for agitation. The patient eventually was discharged home. Senior Counsel Sandra Sands represented OIG.

Action Details

  • Date:June 23, 2017
  • Enforcement Types:
    • CMP and Affirmative Exclusions