Hospitals Agree to Large EMTALA Penalties

Author:Mr Nick Westbrook
Profession:Vinson & Elkins L.L.P.

Southpointe Hospital, in St. Louis, has agreed to pay $100,000 for four cases in which it allegedly failed to properly screen, stabilize, or transfer patients whose various complaints included dizziness, depression, lacerated wrists, high blood pressure, rape, and a blood-alcohol content five times the legal limit. In another recent EMTALA settlement, Miami-based Jackson Memorial Hospital paid $50,000 for its failure to treat a 30-year old woman who had burns on 15.5% of her body. Although, physicians at Jackson Memorial determined that the woman's burn percentage didn't meet the hospital's criteria, physicians at Tampa General Hospital diagnosed her with burns on 23% of her body. The penalty imposed on Jackson Memorial is the maximum allowable for a single alleged violation of EMTALA, and the settlement with Southpointe is the fourth largest EMTALA settlement to date.

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