I was admitted to the hospital this past friday via the emergency room.

Asked over 1 year ago - Longwood, FL

They knew I had no insurance at the time of admission. I went in for chest pains, out of controll blood sugars and the discovery of a lump in my neck. They did several EKG"s, an Echo cardiogram, tried me on several insulins, and tried to get my blood pressure under control. One of the surgeons wanted to schedule me monday for a biopsy of the lump. Yesterday morning all of a sudden the admitting doctor was telling the nurse in my room not to give me anymore meds and told me that he was discharging me. It was obvious that it was because of lack of insurance. but that was no secret. so they discharged me with all my unresolved issued and said good_bye and have a great day. Is this legal?

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Elizabeth Taylor Herd

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should also have been given discharge instructions upon discharge. What did they tell you that you should do in follow up? What were you told was the reason for your chest pain? What were your cardiac enzymes? The hospital is not obligated to provide you with primary medical care that you can receive as an outpatient. You have not explained what your current condition is or how you have been harmed by the discharge. It is not necessarily inappriopriate to discharge you, although you should have been given an understanding of your condition and what the next steps should be.

  2. Clifford M. Miller

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

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    Answered . As long as you are stable, they can discharge you legally.

    This is a summary based on incomplete facts. You should not rely on it as legal advise. No attorney-client... more
  3. Josh P Tolin

    Contributor Level 19

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Under the federal EMTALA statutes, the hospital can't boot you out, or"dump" you , if you are not stable. They have a duty to stabilize you. You need to follow-up with a physician for the biopsy asap. Do not delay. It is difficult to know from your facts whether you were in fact, stable. I would contact a FL malpractice attorney in your area to discuss. I am sorry you are having issues, and hope the biopsy is negative, but please try to take care of at your earliest opportunity.

  4. Marc Edward Stewart

    Contributor Level 16

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . An ER is only required to treat patients when they are in an emergently unstable condition. Examples: having a baby, suffering a stroke, having a heart attack, etc. Doing a lump biopsy is an elective, outpatient-type procedure. You were stable, medically speaking. So no law demands that the ER treat you for free.

    If all Americans had coverage through private insurance or gov't insurance, this type of terrible experience wouldn't have to happen. It doesn't happen in Europe or most other countries. Even Mexico. But here in the US, lack of private insurance can be deadly. Hopefully the new Obama-backed healthcare can kick in soon for everyone.

  5. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If you were stable, yes.

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