A Berkeley County health provider has reached a $40,000 settlement with the federal government to resolve an allegation that doctors failed to properly treat a prisoner at one of its hospitals.
The Charleston Post & Courier first reported the settlement on Tuesday. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), staff at Trident Health Emergency Room denied treatment to a male prisoner in February 2012 because the hospital had a ‘no trespass’ order against him. EMS then took the patient to a nearby hospital, and Trident never provided a medical screening examination of the patient, according to HHS documents.
The settlement comes as a result of the federal Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act that requires hospitals to treat emergency room patients, regardless of their ability to pay.
The announcement by the Inspector General’s Office at HHS did not indicate the prisoner’s fate nor indicate the other hospital that did treat him. A spokeswoman at Trident also did not know whether the patient survived, saying it was a two-year-old case.
As part of the settlement, Trident Health did not admit any liability in the incident and has contested the HHS allegations. Trident Health self-reported the potential violation, the spokeswoman told the Post & Courier.