The settlement was made between Olive View and the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services based on a case in 2011. Federal officials said the Sylmar facility violated the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act by “failing to provide an individual with an appropriate medical screening examination within the capability of the hospital’s emergency department in order to determine whether he had an emergency medical condition.”
According to the complaint, a man complaining of abdominal pain waited in Olive View’s emergency department for more than six hours where he received no care. He left and received medical treatment at another hospital, where he was diagnosed with acute appendicitis among other medical issues and underwent an immediate laparoscopic appendectomy.
Olive View has since made several corrections, Olive View spokeswoman Azar Kattan said. Those include additional physicians assigned to provide rapid medical screening to patients given a triage score of at least 3. On the 1-5 scale, a triage score of 1 is most urgent, Kattan said.
She also said the computer system was modified to provide real-time alerts to the nursing staff among other actions.
“These corrective actions were accepted by the regulatory agencies involved at the time of the original citation in 2011,” Kattan said in a written statement. “We believe they have corrected the problems identified and ensure the timely assessment and treatment of patients seeking care in our emergency room.”