LA sets fines for homeless patient dumping

A new proposed Los Angeles ordinance would charge hospitals $25,000 in fines if they dump homeless patients on Skid Row. The measure, which would make it a misdemeanor for hospitals to move patients anywhere but their homes without written consent, follows a string of high-profile cases in which homeless patients were left on Skid Row by several area hospitals. (California legislators are also considering legislation which would make patient dumping a crime.)

These include a recent case in which a surveillance video captured a homeless 63-year old patient discharged from Kaiser Permanente's Bellflower hospital wandering in the street on Skid Row in a hospital gown. After that incident, city attorneys filed false imprisonment and dependent care endangerment charges against the hospital. Kaiser settled with the city, agreeing to adopt new discharge rules, better train employees and submit to monitoring by a former U.S. attorney.

To find out more about the measure:
- read this Associated Press article

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