Is this any way to treat the most needy? Los Angeles prosecutors have announced a $450,000 settlement with yet another of the city’s hospitals accused of “patient dumping,” the practice of hustling individuals, particularly the poor and homeless, out of an institution as quick as possible and without full regard to the effect.
In this instance, a well-known hospital near downtown Los Angeles gave emergency care to a homeless man for a foot injury, and then gave him a bus token, shoved him out the doors and he eventually ended up in the city’s notorious, hellish Skid Row district. His condition quickly worsened and he required further treatment at another emergency room, where authorities learned of his early shabby care and subsequently decided to pursue a dumping case.
The hospital involved, which has been notable for stepping forward to provide indigent care and to prevent patient dumping, admitted no wrongdoing. It said it would be less expensive to pay the fine and avoid a legal fight with the city.