Disturbing Video Of Woman Shines Light On Pervasive Problem Of Hospitals ‘Dumping Patients’
A video that went viral shows a disoriented woman in Baltimore wearing nothing but a hospital gown and socks discharged out into the cold, dark night. The practice of patient dumping, however, is anything but new, especially in California.
The New York Times:
Baltimore Hospital Patient Discharged At Bus Stop, Stumbling And Cold
A woman who appeared to be wearing nothing but socks and a hospital gown was discharged from a Baltimore hospital on a cold winter night and left alone at a bus stop. A passer-by filmed the woman late Tuesday evening and posted several videos on Facebook shortly after midnight. In them, people in dark uniforms can be seen walking into the University of Maryland Medical Center’s Midtown Campus with an empty wheelchair, leaving the woman alone on the sidewalk. (Fortin, 1/11)
The Baltimore Sun:
University Of Maryland Hospital Apologizes For Its Failure To Discharged Patient Found On Street In Hospital Gown
The issue of people being put out of hospitals is a nationwide problem. The New York Times first began writing about the issues in the 1870s, when private hospitals were sending patients to the city’s public hospital, according to a 2011 report in the American Journal of Public Health. The 1986 Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act forbids emergency rooms to deny hospital services if patients can’t pay. Hospitals must transfer patients they can’t stabilize. The Joint Commission, which accredits hospitals, also requires that hospitals have a discharge plan. But the discharge policies can differ by hospital and the practice of hospital dumping persists. The city of Los Angeles began a crackdown on hospital dumping about a decade ago after several incidents there, particularly along Skid Row, where many of the city’s homeless people live. The city has imposed millions of dollars in fines on hospitals for the practice. (McDaniels and Cohn, 1/11)