What Is Patient Dumping?

What Is Patient Dumping?

Earlier this year, a video taken outside the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore went viral due to the shocking content of a woman being abandoned outside the hospital. A man passing by recorded a young female patient clothed in nothing but a hospital gown and socks being escorted out of the building by what appeared to be security guards. The woman was then left alone at a nearby bus stop in freezing temperatures. Thanks to this viral video, the issue of patient dumping became a national headline.

According to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, which was enacted in 1986, mandates that patients must be given care regardless of the ability to pay for it. Patient dumping is any action that occurs when a hospital does not perform the duty expected of them by law. You cannot be "dumped" based on your financial circumstances, your lack of insurance or for any discriminatory reasons such as race or national origin.

A prime example of patient dumping is when a patient is discharged early or before the condition has been stabilized. It can occur if you are turned away from the facility when in need of emergency care or if you are transferred to another hospital even though your needs can be met at the one where you first arrived. If you do need to be transferred to another medical facility for legitimate reasons, you still cannot be transferred without first receiving adequate medical care, which must be given in an acceptable time-frame and without excessive delays.

Such a life-changing experience as patient dumping can result in a worsened medical condition and cost you additional medical expenses. If you believe you have been the recipient of such negligence, you may wish to look into filing a personal injury case against the hospital to assist in recovering damages.

Please consider this post for informative purposes only. It should not be considered professional legal advice.


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