The most frequent vascular-related violations specifically involved lack of vascular specialist availability. Developing specialist networks and maintaining adequate call coverage can help improve patient access to emergency services.
An ED patient is admitted, but then is transferred almost immediately. This kind of situation can call into question whether the admission was “good faith” or if the hospital was just trying to work around federal EMTALA requirements.
If a patient with psychiatric symptoms experiences a poor outcome shortly after discharge from an ED, allegations of inadequate medical screening are possible. Good documentation is the best protection against these allegations.
Researchers analyzed 232 Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act-related Office of Inspector General settlements that occurred between 2002 and 2018. During the study period, obstetric emergency settlements rose from 17% to 40%.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued waivers for some Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act (EMTALA) requirements, acknowledging certain expectations are not reasonable to achieve during a pandemic. However, EMTALA still applies.
There are some situations in which hospitals violate EMTALA, or the standard of care, by making unreasonable transfer arrangements that result in untoward outcomes. Potential liability exposure for the transferring hospital makes it important to document that the closer hospitals rejected the transfer and why the benefits of transferring the patient to a particular hospital outweigh the risks.