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ED Docs Wrongful Termination Suit Dismissed

The Court of Appeals of Michigan affirmed a decision of a lower court dismissing a suit brought by an emergency department physician against a hospital after the physician was terminated and ordering the physician to repay his signing bonus. As a part of his appeal, the physician argued that under his employment agreement he should be permitted to retain his entire signing bonus because the hospital terminated him without cause. The court disagreed noting that the hospital terminated the contract for cause based on, among other things, an affidavit from an emergency department nurse manager attesting that the physician insulted and threatened patients, reported work he had not performed, and instructed staff “without rationale to send all waiting emergency-room patients home.”
Dean v. St. Mary’s of Mich.

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Question of the Week

We are revising our Medical Staff Bylaws and a question has come up about whether we could add a “years of service” exemption that let’s physicians opt-out of their ED call obligations if they have been on the Medical Staff for more than 20 years. Is this okay under EMTALA?
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