L.A. Officials Call for City Law on ‘Patient Dumping’
Los Angeles officials on Wednesday advocated a policy that would establish criminal penalties for hospitals that improperly discharge homeless patients, the Los Angeles Daily News reports (Orlov, Los Angeles Daily News, 10/31).
City Council member Jan Perry and City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo say the proposed ordinance establishing criminal penalties for patient dumping is needed because the city currently is limited to filing civil lawsuits in such cases (Los Angeles Times, 11/1).
Hospitals that do not follow discharge protocols and ensure that follow-up care has been arranged could face fines of up to $25,000 (Los Angeles Daily News, 10/31).
The Hospital Association of Southern California has pledged to oppose the ordinance (Los Angeles Times, 11/1).
Perry said she hopes the City Council will take formal action this year (Los Angeles Daily News, 10/31).
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) vetoed a similar law earlier this year, saying that current state law adequately addresses the situation (Los Angeles Times, 11/1).