Duke LifePoint hospital under CMS review for alleged EMTALA violations

CMS regulators are reviewing the results of an investigation into potential violations of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act at Wilson (N.C.) Medical Center, part of the Duke LifePoint network, The News & Observer reported September 30. 

The scrutiny follows Wilson Medical Center's brush with CMS this past summer, when its Medicare contract was risked after state regulators identified immediate jeopardy to patients' health and safety stemming from three events in early 2022. The hospital submitted a corrective action plan to CMS June 28, and on Aug. 5, a hospital spokesperson told Becker's the hospital was no longer at risk of losing its Medicare contract.

In a follow-up review of 294-bed Wilson Medical Center, inspectors still found "substantial noncompliance" with Medicare rules, which the hospital had until the end of September to fix, The N&O reports. 

A spokesperson for the hospital told The N&O the Wilson Medical Center "continues to work with CMS as it reviews a few recent complaints," which are related to potential EMTALA violations. 

To receive Medicare funding, hospitals that offer emergency services must provide a medical screening examination when a request is made for examination or treatment for an emergency medical condition, regardless of the patient's ability to pay.

"We have cooperated fully with the state surveyors and CMS with the EMTALA investigations," hospital spokesperson Melanie Raynor told The N&O. "That information has been gathered, compiled by the state, and sent to CMS to review."

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