Bhuiyan then traveled the intertwined worlds of American health care and debt: scores of surgeries performed without insurance, an incident of patient dumping
, and a job layoff.
General Accounting Office found that the "overall impact of EMTALA is difficult to measure, however, because there are no data on the incidence of patient dumping
before its enactment, and the only measure of current incidence--the number of confirmed violations--is imprecise.
33) The increasing media attention given to medical repatriation and its specific occurrences is beginning to mirror the media attention given to patient dumping
in the 1980s.
This is the result of a trade-off between productive efficiency, rent extraction, and patient dumping
deterrence: the effort of the hospital is distorted downward for the outliers to reduce the fixed price paid for the patients with low severity and limit the rent earned on these patients.
A Continuum of Medical Care for the Homeless in Order to Prevent Patient Dumping
To date, the program has shown that in communities where incentives are available, there has not been patient dumping
, said Francois deBrantes, national coordinator of the program.
The law's initial intent was to ensure patient access to emergency medical care and to prevent the practice of patient dumping
, in which uninsured patients were transferred, solely for financial reasons, from private to public hospitals without consideration of their medical condition or stability for the transfer.
Well, it turns out that 72 percent of the patient dumping
-- illegally sending patients with emergency conditions to other hospitals -- was done by those not-for-profit angels of mercy.
Although primarily intended to prevent patient dumping
, the law instituted fines for oncall physicians who do not respond to a request for help.
Professor Smith suggests that EMTALA has been ineffective on preventing patient dumping
and that "judicial enforcement is waning.
Health horror stories about patient dumping
, "drive-through" procedures, and denial of emergency care abound in the news media.
Because of these limitations, it is likely that the extent and consequences of patient dumping
have grown over the past decade.