University of Maryland hit with EMTALA violation
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.