Patient dumping is becoming a common practice at hospitals located in large metropolitan areas in the United States. Dumping occurs when a hospital discharges an indigent patient via an ambulance on a city street. The Los Angeles Times reported that a Montebello hospital agreed to pay a $250,000 fine and face new protocols in lieu of civil and criminal charges for dumping a homeless patient on skid row. Patients are typically dumped via ambulance or taxi. Skid row is a rough part of downtown Los Angeles that is home to many homeless, mentally ill, prostitutes, drug dealers and gang members.
Patient dumping is inhumane and the hospitals that are caught dumping patients should be subject to a $1,000,000 fine per incident. Public funding should also be made available to support installation of additional “dump cams” near the Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles. Repeat offenders should lose there license to serve patients for a period of three months.
I’m fully supportive of actors in the health care system generating profits to sustain their operations. I also understand the burden that is put on the healthcare system by indigent patients and people that are in the country illegally. I’m still appalled at this type of behavior occurring in institutions that are in business to serve patients.