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What is patient dumping?

Even though the United States is at the top of healthcare with advanced medical techniques and the ability to save lives in ways other systems cannot, it is suffering from a crisis. Affordable and accessible healthcare is not available to every citizen. This often leads to situations where patients are not treated properly in California hospitals. One such situation that happens all too often is patient dumping. 

HealthCareDive explains patient dumping is something that has been happening for decades. It occurs when a hospital discharges a patient before that patient is actually ready to be discharged. It often happens to patients who cannot pay, such as those who are homeless. It gets its name because the patient is dumped off either at another hospital or on the streets. 

It is thought patient dumping is a sign of the state of the healthcare system because it usually happens only to patients who are not insured.  While there are laws, such as The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, they still do not stop this from happening. Patient dumping can even fall under medical malpractice, especially if the physician treating the patient does not ensure proper discharge planning is followed. However, it still happens.

Solving this problem is not easy. It is a situation that requires an overhaul of the whole system. This is sure to take plenty of time to accomplish. Until then, hospitals are trying to take action on their own to help stop this practice. This information is for education and is not legal advice. 

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