Chicago partner Doug Swill was quoted in a Bloomberg BNA article titled, “Observation Admission No Bar to Hospital’s Emergency Care Liability.” The article discusses a federal court’s denial of pretrial judgement for Pottstown Memorial Medical Center (PMMC) in a case alleging a violation of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA). Inpatient admission usually precludes a claim, but the judge noted that people placed in observation aren’t inpatients—even if they occupy a bed overnight. The case is going to trial on factual issues.
“The court took a very black-and-white view of the situation at issue here,” Doug said.
He continued: “the decision wasn't surprising given how EMTALA has been applied lately. The Health and Human Services Department and its Office of Inspector General have been more active in enforcing EMTALA because more people are using emergency departments as their access point for health care. And, in the HHS OIG's eyes, EMTALA applies to a patient placed on observation.”
Read more of Doug’s comments in “Observation Admission No Bar to Hospital’s Emergency Care Liability.”