The University of Colorado Hospital Authority agreed to pay $35,000 to settle patient-dumping allegations with HHS' inspector general, Modern Healthcare has learned. The inspector general said 333-bed University of Colorado Hospital refused to accept the transfer of a suicidal patient from 228-bed Rose Medical Center in violation of the 1986 Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act. That law requires hospitals accepting Medicare with emergency rooms to screen, stabilize or appropriately transfer patients seeking emergency care. The inspector general said the 27-year-old woman was presented to Rose after an apparent drug and alcohol overdose. After examining and treating the patient, Rose doctors determined she was still suicidal and required psychiatric specialists. But the inspector general said that upon hearing that the patient had no insurance, University of Colorado ER staff allegedly refused to accept the patient. "In this particular case the attending physician felt this patient was not experiencing an emergency condition that would have required a transfer to our hospital," said University of Colorado Hospital spokeswoman Sarah Ellis. "We felt that the (Rose) emergency department could handle the patient appropriately. Nothing bad happened to the patient." Ellis said the hospital settled to avoid the high cost of litigation. -- by Mark Taylor
Colo. hospital settles patient-dumping charges
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