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Hospitals Can’t Reject Uninsured, Court Rules

BOSTON (CN) - Hospitals may be held liable for violating the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act if they refuse to admit uninsured patients who are en route to a medical facility, the 1st Circuit ruled.

A three-judge panel allowed Carolina Morales to pursue her medical malpractice claim against Hospital Español Auxilio Mutuo de Puerto Rico and the director of its emergency department, who allegedly hung up on ambulance paramedics when he found out that Morales had no insurance. Paramedics interpreted the action as a refusal to treat the plaintiff, so they took her to another hospital.

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