Four hospitals and health systems collectively paid $105,000 to settle alleged violations of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act with HHS' inspector general, Modern Healthcare has learned. Wilson (N.C.) Medical Center, a 220-bed rural hospital that paid $15,000, allegedly failed to provide appropriate treatment to three different patients in 2001. Ten-bed Behavioral Hospital of Lutcher (La.), formerly known as St. James Psychiatric Hospital, paid $30,000 for allegedly failing to appropriately accept transfers of two patients suffering psychiatric emergencies. Florida Hospital Heartland Medical Center, a 186-bed hospital located in Sebring, and owned by the Winter Park, Fla.-based Adventist Health System Sunbelt Health Care Corp., paid $20,000 for allegedly failing to provide appropriate medical screening and stabilization to a 21-year-old patient three times over a 12-day period. The patient later died of a rare and difficult-to-diagnose parasitic infection. The University of Alabama at Birmingham paid $40,000 to settle allegations that in September 2000 a member of the ER staff at its 226-bed UAB Medical West failed to provide a complete screening to a woman suffering from kidney infections and associated fevers and chills. Representatives of the healthcare organizations could not be reached for comment at deadline. -- by Mark Taylor
Hospitals, health systems settle EMTALA allegations
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