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UF Health Shands Hospital Agreed to Pay $119,000 for Allegedly Violating Patient Dumping Statute by Failing to Provide an Appropriate Medical Screening Examination and Stabilizing Treatment

On March 11, 2024, UF Health Shands Hospital (UF Health), Gainesville, Florida, entered into a $119,942 settlement agreement with OIG. The settlement agreement resolves allegations that UF Health violated the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA). Based on its investigation, OIG concluded that on August 30, 2021, UF Health violated the requirements of EMTALA when it failed to evaluate and stabilize a patient who was in UF Health’s waiting room for approximately 16 hours. The patient presented to UF Health’s Emergency Department (ED) at 10:13 a.m. with complaints of throat swelling and difficulty eating and swallowing. UF Health provided the patient with an initial screening examination at 11:03 a.m. via a Zoom telehealth, less than an hour after arrival. The initial screening exam included orders for labs, an x-ray, and a CT scan. The CT scan was resulted at 6:38 p.m. while the patient was in the ED waiting room. The patient was not discharged following the CT scan, and his care was not handed over to the next shift of ED health care providers. At 7:22 p.m. the patient requested evaluation of a new complaint, chest pain accompanied by a warm sensation. Other than taking a blood pressure measurement at 7:34 p.m., UF Health failed to evaluate the patient’s chest pain to determine whether he had an emergency medical condition and failed to provide stabilizing treatment. The patient was found unresponsive in the ED waiting room at 2:01 a.m. on August 31, 2021. ED staff were unable to resuscitate him. Autopsy results showed that he died of a ruptured aneurysm. Senior Counsel Julie Redlinger represented OIG.

Action Details

  • Date:March 11, 2024
  • Enforcement Types:
    • CMP and Affirmative Exclusions