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Tennessee Hospital Settles Case Involving Patient Dumping Allegation

On May 4, 2018, Houston County Community Hospital (HCCH) in Erin, Tennessee, entered into a $25,000 settlement agreement with OIG. The settlement agreement resolves allegations that HCCH violated the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act when it failed to provide an adequate medical screening examination or treatment to stabilize an emergency medical condition for a 58-year-old patient. Specifically, after the patient presented to HCCH's Emergency Department (ED) seeking examination and treatment for blurred vision and dizziness, HCCH failed to provide an appropriate medical screening examination within the capability of the hospital's ED, including ancillary services routinely available to the ED, to determine whether the patient had an emergency medical condition. Instead, an ED nurse directed to the patient to a local eye doctor, delaying provision of an appropriate medical screening examination ultimately performed by another hospital later that same day. Additionally, HCCH failed to provide medical treatment to stabilize the patient's emergency medical condition, a cerebral infarction. Senior Counsel Ellen Slavin represented OIG.

Action Details

  • Date:May 4, 2018
  • Enforcement Types:
    • CMP and Affirmative Exclusions