Most patients expect that a Maryland hospital will immediately admit them upon arrival. That’s not always the case. Unfortunately, when hospitals fail to admit patients in emergency situations, it can have disastrous consequences for Maryland victims.
While Maryland hospitals can refuse treatment to patients in certain situations, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) prohibits them from doing so in cases of emergencies. This federal law extends to urgent care facilities but does not include private practices in Maryland. That being said, no medical facility can refuse treatment on the basis of discrimination. Violating the EMTALA and refusing treatment can cause substantial damages for Maryland victims. If you believe that a Maryland hospital unjustly refused you treatment, reach out to a lawyer. You may be able to recover compensatory damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Our lawyers are dedicated to representing Maryland victims who were unjustly refused treatment by hospitals. For a free case evaluation with the Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys at Bennett & Heyman, call today at (410) 429-7856.
Can a Hospital Refuse to Treat You in Maryland?
If you’ve sustained an injury or suffer from an illness in Maryland, you’ll likely visit a local hospital. While many Maryland residents expect to be admitted to any hospital they visit, it’s important to know that hospitals are within their right to turn away patients under certain circumstances. However, depending on the scenario, refusing to treat you may be a violation of federal law.
Although hospitals are considered a place of refuge and care, they don’t always have to treat prospective patients. For example, hospitals can turn away patients in Maryland under certain conditions. The following are reasons why a Maryland hospital may be within its rights to refuse treatment:
- The hospital is overcrowded
- The hospital does not have adequate resources
- The patient does not have insurance
- The hospital isn’t equipped to treat a patient’s condition
That being said, there are certain scenarios where a Maryland hospital can’t refuse treatment to a potential patient. Under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, any hospital that receives funding through Medicare can’t turn away a patient in an emergency scenario. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have insurance and can’t pay for treatment. The EMTALA prohibits Maryland hospitals from turning down patients who visit their emergency rooms for treatment. Maryland hospitals also can’t discriminate against patients based on their gender, sex, race, or religion.
If you believe that a hospital unjustly refused treatment to you, speak with a Maryland medical malpractice attorney. It’s possible that a hospital’s refusal to treat you resulted in your worsening condition.
Often, the EMTALA also extends to urgent care facilities across Maryland. Remember, any medical facility that receives funding through Medicare must treat you in an emergency, regardless of your ability to pay.
Can a Private Practice Refuse Treatment in Maryland?
Private hospitals and private practices are different facilities in Maryland. A hospital is staffed with countless doctors and nurses and is often stocked with ample medical supplies and resources. Private practices, however, generally consist of one or more (potentially specialized) doctors and do not usually receive funding through Medicare. Because of this, private practices are often able to refuse treatment in Maryland.
In Maryland, private practices aren’t subject to the EMTALA. That means that a doctor in private practice can refuse treatment if a patient can’t pay, even if it’s an emergency.
That being said, private doctors can’t refuse treatment to Maryland residents because of biases. Discrimination based on sex, gender, race, or religion isn’t allowed in Maryland. This rule extends to private practices throughout the state.
In most emergency cases, you should go to an urgent care clinic or the emergency department of a hospital rather than a private-practice physician’s office.
What Can Happen if a Maryland Hospital Refuses to Treat You?
If a Maryland hospital violates the EMTALA and refuses to treat you in an emergency or discriminates against you, it can have dire consequences. When Maryland patients don’t get the emergency medical care they require, their conditions can greatly worsen.
If you visit a Maryland hospital because you’ve been injured or fallen ill, you likely need urgent medical care. Hospitals that refuse such vital care and violate the EMTALA can cause patients to succumb to their illnesses or injuries. Not getting the immediate medical care you need because a Maryland hospital has unjustly refused treatment can have disastrous effects.
When refused care, medical malpractice victims can experience a worsening condition, forever altering their quality of life. Not getting the immediate medical care they need can result in more expensive treatment in the future. Such negligence can also impact a Maryland patient’s ability to work, impacting their financial security even further. Generally, this type of negligence can profoundly impact a patient’s life, causing substantial economic and non-economic damages.
Can You File a Lawsuit After a Maryland Hospital Refuses to Treat You?
After being refused treatment by a Maryland hospital, patients may be at a loss. The good news is that you can be compensated for the wrongs done to you. By hiring a Maryland medical malpractice attorney, victims can file a lawsuit for compensatory damages against a hospital that refused to treat them.
Suppose a Maryland hospital violated the EMTALA or discriminated against you and refused treatment, causing your condition to worsen. In that case, you can file a lawsuit for compensatory damages. Generally, victims have three years to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against a negligent hospital for refusal of treatment in Maryland.
Maryland residents can also sue a negligent private practice if the practice in question discriminated against them when it refused treatment. Remember, you can’t file a medical malpractice lawsuit against a private practice for an EMTALA violation in Maryland.
When patients are unfairly refused treatment in emergencies in Maryland, it can have costly consequences. Your Maryland medical malpractice attorney can work hard to prove that a hospital’s negligence in refusing you treatment caused you real damages. In doing so, your lawyer can help you recover substantial compensatory damages for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Call Our Maryland Attorneys Today if a Hospital Refused to Treat You
No patient seeking treatment should be unjustly turned away from a hospital in Maryland. For a free case evaluation with the Maryland medical malpractice attorneys at Bennett & Heyman, call today at (410) 429-7856.