Turned away by urgent care?

by LaToshia
(Lancaster, CA)

I went to urgent care tonight (02/04/2015) and was sent away by a triage rep. I went in there because my scalp is sore and I think I may have been bitten by a spider. I have a couple of bumps on my scalp and a couple of tender spot on my scalp.

It was 10:14pm when the triage nurse called me back to the back. He proceeded to ask me what was wrong and after I told him he gave me two options, to come back in the am at 8am or go to the emergency room.

He said that they only had one doctor working that night and the doctor was off at 12am. He said there were patients that were already waiting who might not be seen, because the doctor walks out the door at 12am sharp.

I find it hard to believe that a doctor can just walk out when there are about 7 people in the waiting area. I just don't understand how they can just turn people away because the doctor wants to get off exactly at 12am.

How is this possible? Don't they have an obligation to treat people who show up for "urgent care." Aren't they liable if someone is then more severely injured due to lack of treatment, or even dies? Can you please explain this? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "Turned away by urgent care?":

LaToshia (Lancaster, CA):

Urgent care clinics are only required to stabilize patients who present with serious injuries or illness, so that the patients can be seen by their own doctor or hospital at a later time. However, patients who come to an urgent care facility with an emergency which is life-threatening must be seen, even if the doctor has to work past his normal work hours.

It is logical to presume the night you went to the urgent care clinic the triage nurse decided your injury, and possibly the injuries of others waiting to see the doctor, were not of an emergent nature and therefore not sufficient to require the doctor to treat them that night.

An urgent care doctor has a right to work the same hours as any other worker in a similar position. It is logical to assume the doctor worked his or her shift and then left work as other workers do when they leave their jobs at the close of business.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

P.S. Please help us out by sharing this site...

Click here to post comments

Return to Treatment Denial Questions

How Much Is Your Claim Worth?

Find out now with a FREE case review from an attorney...

How Much Are Your
Injuries Worth?

Find out with a
free attorney review: