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Patient Dumping and Medical Malpractice

Patient dumping is the practice of hospitals physically removing patients from  the hospital, usually prematurely, and almost always those who are indigent or  on Medicare. Many patients have been refused care, while others have been  transferred elsewhere. Patients on Medicare have had the right to challenge a  premature discharge after treatment since 1986 after the passage of the  Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA). While this regulation  was adopted primarily to fight Medicare fraud, you may be able to file a medical  malpractice suit if you or a family member was negligently “dumped” by the  hospital, especially if treatment was subpar or non-existent.

When a hospital fails to provide care,  they are acting negligently. When a hospital acts in a negligent manner, they  are committing malpractice. Acting under the assumption that indigent patients  will not have anywhere to turn and may not be taken seriously by authorities,  hospitals will often remove patients to the skid row section of the city.

The practice of patient dumping raises  questions of how we treat our homeless, as well as why doctors, medical staff,  and hospital administrators would act negligently toward people who often need  help more than the average citizen.

For the past several years, there have  been hospitals or individual doctors accused of patient dumping who are brought  to court. They nearly always deny the practice, but settle out of court for tens  or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Medical malpractice is a blot on the  record of these health care professionals that they will never live down. While  it is in their best interest to attempt to settle, bringing to light the names  of hospitals and doctors who practice patient dumping is certainly a start.

We have the right to be treated as well  as possible when we go to the hospital. When doctors, nurses, or others on the  hospital staff refuse treatment, ignore symptoms, or are outright hostile to  those in need, the best recourse is to speak with an experienced medical  malpractice attorney.
Source: Digital Journal at: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/763329#ixzz24zBgiUrO

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Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC

3049 Miller Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

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