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Tennessee Hospital Settles Case Involving a Patient Dumping Allegation

On September 13, 2016, HMA Fentress County General Hospital, LLC f/d/b/a Jamestown Regional Medical Center (Jamestown), a small hospital in Jamestown, Tennessee, entered into a $10,000 settlement agreement with OIG. The settlement agreement resolves allegations that Jamestown violated the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) when it failed to provide an adequate medical screening examination, treatment or transfer for a 69-year-old woman. OIG's investigation revealed that the patient presented to Jamestown's Emergency Department (ED) with the chief complaint of gastrointestinal bleeding accompanied with blood clots, abdominal pain, and back pain. The patient's pain level was 7 out of 10. A lab test revealed an elevated white blood cell count, and a CT scan of her abdomen and pelvis did not reveal anything abnormal. The patient was given antibiotics and pain medication and discharged with a diagnosis of sinusitis. Upon leaving the ED, the patient used the bathroom and passed blood clots. She requested the help of a nurse, but the ED doctor said she could come back in the ED for more tests or she could go to another hospital, without providing for an appropriate transfer. Senior Counsel Sandra Sands represented OIG.

Action Details

  • Date:September 13, 2016
  • Enforcement Types:
    • CMP and Affirmative Exclusions