Senator Touts Proposed ‘Patient Dumping’ Ban
Legislation is necessary to address the issue of "patient dumping" because hospitals have failed to remedy the problem on their own, Sen. Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles) said in a recent discussion on KCRW's "Which Way L.A.?" (Onley, "Which Way L.A.?," KCRW, 2/26).
Cedillo last week introduced a bill (SB 275) that would make it a misdemeanor for a hospital facility or worker to transport patients to a location other than their residences without the patient's informed consent. It would punish individual offenders by a maximum of two years in jail and a possible fine of up to $1,000. Facilities that violate the measure could face penalties of up to $10,000 (California Healthline, 2/26).
Other guests on the program include:
- Jim Lott, executive vice president of the Hospital Association of Southern California, and
- Pete White, director of the Los Angeles Community Action Network ("Which Way L.A.?," KCRW, 2/26).
Providing more community-based services for homeless people and expanding the capacity of county clinics and dedicated hospital services for homeless patients would be more effective than pursuing legislation to ban "patient dumping," Brian Johnston, chief of emergency services at White Memorial Hospital, writes in a Los Angeles Times opinion piece.
Johnston calls on lawmakers to "concentrate their efforts on the root causes and needs of our homeless population," rather than legislation that "would victimize hospitals for trying to take care of a population whose needs our elected officials have ignored (Johnston, Los Angeles Times, 2/28).