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Department of Health and Human Services

Office of Inspector General -- AUDIT

"Implementation and Enforcement of the Examination and Treatment for Emergency Medical Conditions and Women in Labor Act by the Health Care Financing Administration," (A-06-93-00087)

April 6, 1995

Complete Text of Report is available in PDF format (1.76 MB). Copies can also be obtained by contacting the Office of Public Affairs at 202-619-1343.


This final audit report discusses the effectiveness of the Health Care Financing Administration's (HCFA) investigation and resolution of so-called patient dumping complaints. The report points out that HCFA's regional offices were not always consistent in; (1) conducting timely investigations of patient dumping complaints, (2) sending acknowledgments to complainants, (3) ensuring that provisions of the Act were addressed in substantiating violations, and (4) ensuring that violations were referred to the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for consideration of civil monetary penalties. We recommended that HCFA amend its guidelines to the regional offices, conduct training on the requirements concerning patient dumping, ensure that all regional offices are following established procedures, and improve its process for referring cases to the OIG. The HCFA concurred with our findings and recommendations and has taken corrective action.