Univer­sity of Maryland hit with EMTALA vi­o­la­tion

Modern Healthcare - - Regional News -

The CMS cited the Univer­sity of Maryland Med­i­cal Cen­ter for vi­o­lat­ing the Emer­gency Med­i­cal Treat­ment and La­bor Act for its han­dling of a men­tally ill pa­tient this year. The pa­tient was found in just a gown and socks out­side the med­i­cal cen­ter’s mid­town Bal­ti­more cam­pus on a freez­ing Jan­uary night.

The agency de­ter­mined that the hos­pi­tal’s emer­gency depart­ment staff failed to open a new en­counter form for the woman on its elec­tronic health record sys­tem when she re­turned within an hour af­ter be­ing dis­charged, re­sult­ing in her not be­ing cap­tured on the EMTALA log.

Ac­cord­ing to the CMS in­ves­tiga­tive re­port, the hos­pi­tal kept the en­trance door to the ED wait­ing room and reg- is­tra­tion area locked, and only se­cu­rity staff could open it.

The hos­pi­tal said it has dis­con­tin­ued its in­for­mal rule of not open­ing a new en­counter form on the EHR when pa­tients re­turn within two hours, a prac­tice it has used with pa­tients who re­peat­edly re­turned to the ED.

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