Bills Target ‘Patient Dumping’ by Hospitals
Two bills that seek to prevent hospitals from "dumping" homeless patients on the street near homeless services passed their respective committees last week, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The Assembly Health Committee approved AB 2745, by Assembly member Dave Jones (D-Sacramento). The bill would require hospitals to establish discharge procedures for homeless patients to be approved by county boards of supervisors.
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill (SB 1319) by Sen. Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles). Cedillo's bill would impose fines up to $10,000 on agencies that transport homeless people to the streets near homeless services, unless the agency obtains written consent from the homeless person. Agencies also would be required to contact homeless services to determine if space is available for the person.
The California Hospital Association opposes both bills, saying the practice of patient dumping "is a symptom of a much bigger problem in terms of" what local governments and the state do to provide services for the homeless, according to CHA spokesperson Jan Emerson (Wiener, Sacramento Bee, 5/2).