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University Of Chicago Hospital May Lose Medicare Certification After ER Death

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Federal officials are threatening to take away the University of Chicago Medical Center's Medicare certification after the death of a 78-year-old man who sat in the emergency room for hours without being triaged or logged in.

U of C spokesman John Easton said Friday that the warning came in a March 17 letter from Medicare officials.

Easton says the man's wheelchair was in the emergency room for "a few hours" Feb. 3 but he was neither triaged nor logged in. A nurse eventually examined him and found he was not breathing.

The medical center issued a statement saying proper policies and procedures may not have been followed. It says unspecified disciplinary action has been taken.

Easton says a plan is in the works to prevent recurrences.