Indigent Infants "Double-bunked," Say Whistleblowers; University Hospital Settles For $7M

For eight years University of Chicago Medical Center’s neonatal intensive care unit was so overcrowded that sick babies were placed in the same bed with children with intensive care needs, according to two nurse whistleblowers who worked at the facility.  The whistleblowers’ allegations prompted Illionois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to file suit, claiming the hospital “violated Illinois licensing regulations by exceeding its licensed capacity in the [Neonatal Intensive Care Unit] and routinely placing two or more patients in bed spaces designed for one infant.” In an effort to quell the lawsuit, the hospital has agreed to repay Medicare and Medicaid $500,000 and to donate $5.1 million to not-for-profit community health centers for healthcare services for low-income women and infants on the southside of Chicago and to pay a reward to the whistleblowers of $1.4 million. Attorney General Madigan said that the settlement “will increase access to critical medical care for low-income women and, as a result, improve their health and help them to deliver healthier babies.”

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