California hospital caught dumping homeless patient

Dump Cam
Rescue Mission still maintains “dump cam” to track hospitals jettisoning patients

A Montebello hospital accused of dumping a homeless patient on skid row will pay a $250,000 fine and face new protocols rather than face civil and criminal charges, according to the Los Angeles city attorney’s office.

Officials at the 224-bed Beverly Hospital in Montebello last year allegedly had the patient driven to skid row — long a magnet for the region’s most vulnerable citizens — without any prearrangement with a shelter to take the patient in.

The settlement, announced Friday, marks the first time in several years that a hospital has been caught dumping a patient without adequate medical care illegally on skid row.

Seven years ago, city prosecutors began aggressively pursuing criminal and civil cases against medical facilities that drop off homeless patients at shelters. Los Angeles police reported seeing hundreds of patients, sometimes still in hospital gowns, appearing on downtown streets.

The city forced several large hospital and chains, including Kaiser Permanente, to pay massive civil penalties and agree to tough new regulations…

In 2005 and 2006, patient dumping on L.A.’s skid row grabbed national headlines with images of mentally ill patients in gowns and another holding a colostomy bag being dropped off in ambulances, taxis and vans.

After a few years hiatus, shelter workers and police officers report seeing the signs of patient dumping again in the last year — including a surge of people wearing medical wristbands from hospitals…

For nearly a decade, the Union Rescue Mission has operated “dump cams” outside its shelter and the LAPD has publicly vowed to arrest anyone caught leaving patients outside a shelter without an arrangement for the handoff.

Existing protocols and procedures are nothing more than a game that many of the biggest hospitals work at avoiding in the name of profits. And don’t kid yourself, some of the worst thugs in the “healthcare industry” are only concerned with profits. It works just like cost-plus military contracts. If your profit is calculated on a percentage of cost, then, you inflate costs to increase profits.

The medical-industrial complex follows the guidance long established by the military-industrial complex. Screw consumers, screw the government and taxpayers by inserting artificially inflated costs at every possible opportunity. Lobbyists, pimp politicians, are paid to justify the expense, counter any challenges to accounting lies. Insurance companies collaborate in the whole process to guarantee their own share of the pork pie.

Dumping homeless patients is just another procedure for tidying up the books as far as some hospital administrators are concerned. All they require is plausible deniability.

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