LA hospital investigated for patient dumping

The Los Angeles city attorney's office has begun investigating whether staff from the city's Hollywood Presbyterian hospital dumped a paraplegic man in a gutter in front of a local mission. Security cameras recorded workers from the hospital arriving, wheeling the man on a gurney into the courtyard, then, after being challenged by the mission's security guards regarding the paraplegic's care, being wheeled back into the ambulance. Later, however, the man was found in a skid row gutter. Now, the LA city attorney's office is investigating whether the hospital's workers violated federal laws by dropping off someone who wasn't ready for discharge. The city may have additional grounds to sue under a state law used to deal with unfair business practices (typically used to prosecute slum lords). The federal government, however--not the LA city attorney's office--would decide whether this behavior also violates EMTALA. The paraplegic patient is now an inpatient at County-USC Medical Center, where he was taken by witnesses who saw him left on the street by a hospital van.

To learn more about the incident:
- read this article from the Los Angeles Times

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