Municipal Hospital & Granite Manor Complaint Findings for EMTALA
In a report concluded on December 15, 2010, the Minnesota Department of Health cites Municipal Hospital & Granite Manor Granite Falls for and EMTLA emergency room violation.
It is alleged that on October 31, 2010, Patient #1 was transferred to the receiving hospital for an endoscopy. Patient #1 was not provided with information regarding the risk/benefits of this transfer by private car and information regarding his care in the emergency room was not provided to the receiving hospital.
Municipal Hospital – EMTALA Violation
According to emtala.com, citing Reynolds v. Mainegeneral Health, 218 F.3d 78 (1st Cir. 2000): congress enacted EMTALA in 1996 [sic], in the face of “the increasing number of reports that hospital emergency rooms are refusing to accept or treat patients with emergency conditions if the patient does not have medical insurance.” H.R. Rep. No. 241(I), 99th Cong., 1st Sess. 27 (1986), reprinted in 1986 U.S.C.C.A.N. 42, 605. EMTALA created a remedy for patients in certain contexts in which a claim under state medical malpractice law was not available. Although the exact scope of the rights guaranteed to patients by EMTALA is still not fully defined, it is clear that at a minimum Congress manifested an intent that all patients be treated fairly when they arrive in the emergency department of a participating hospital and that all patients who need some treatment will get a first response at minimum and will not simply be turned away. See Baber v. Hospital Corp. of America, 977 F.2d 872, 880 (4th Cir. 1992) (“The avowed purpose of EMTALA was not to guarantee that all patients are properly diagnosed, or even to ensure that they receive adequate care, but instead to provide an ‘adequate first response to a medical crisis’ for all patients and ‘send a clear signal to the hospital community . . . that all Americans, regardless of wealth or status, should know that a hospital will provide what services it can when they are truly in physical distress.'”) (quoting 131 Cong. Rec. S13904 (Oct. 23, 1985) (statement of Sen. Durenberger)). Appellants’ argument that because Mr. Reynolds was in a hospital room receiving treatment for his injuries when the risk of DVT became manifest, it would be unreasonable to deny him the protections of subsection (a) is unpersuasive. The fact that Mr. Reynolds was in the hospital receiving treatment is a prima facie showing that the purpose of subsection (a) was satisfied; any failures of diagnosis or treatment were then remediable under state medical malpractice law.
For more information from the Minnesota Department of Health, Office of Health Facility Complaints concerning nursing homes, assisted living and other elder care providers view resolved complaints at the MDH website.
If you have concerns about EMTALA or any other form of elder abuse or neglect contact Elder Abuse and Neglect Attorney Kenneth LaBore toll free at 1-888-452-6589 or by email at KLaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com.