You are the administrator on call for Hospital A and are responsible for accepting and rejecting patients. You receive a call at 2:00 a.m. from Health Hospital B regarding a patient with a severed ear.
The ED physician is calling to arrange an EMTALA-qualified transfer from his hospital to yours, but the ENT physician on call at your hospital is refusing to accept the transfer, stating that the patient does not need a higher level of care.
You call your ENT on call, and he admits he has just had three glasses of wine and will not be available for about 6 hours. You electronically send him the record that Health Hospital B would send with the patient. The ENT physician advises that the ear looks salvageable and could easily be sutured in any ED. The ED physician at Health Hospital B is very nervous about the possibility of an EMTALA violation.
- If you decide to reject the patient, is this a violation of EMTALA? Explain.
- What decision will you make as the administrator? Explain.
- Based on this scenario, what could be implemented to prevent this type of situation from occurring in the future?
- Under what scenario would the Hospital A physician be concerned about an EMTALA situation?
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