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3 Mass. hospitals cited for denial of ER care

April 23, 2012
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BOSTON—State health officials have cited three Massachusetts hospitals in the past six months for turning patients away from their emergency rooms, including one case when the person died en route to another hospital.

Investigators determined that Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River failed to provide needed medical treatment before transferring the patient, who was unstable and in respiratory distress before death.

Charlton, along with St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester and the Lahey Clinic in Burlington were cited by the state.

The hospitals risk losing their right to treat Medicare and Medicaid patients, which can cost a hospital millions of dollars, and also could be fined.

The Boston Globe ( http://bo.st/Jzni7F) obtained the state investigative reports through a Freedom of Information request.

Officials at all three hospitals say procedures have been changed.

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Information from: The Boston Globe, http://www.boston.com/globe

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