Friday, March 16, 2007

Patient Dumping: a Lott of accusations

Here is the e-mail we received from Mr. Jim Lott, director of communications for Hospital Association of Southern California (HASC) in response to our posting of March 14, 2007 "Kaiser Permanente Arraignment".
Subject: RE: Possible Spam: "Kaiser Permanente arraignment..."
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2007 17:34:54 -0700From: "Jim Lot, "
CC: "Mark Gamble"Trudy Duncan" "Jennifer Bayer"

Dear Mr. Donin,
I am saddened and chagrinned by the unenlightened comments made by Dr.Dorodny in your/his blog. Not only would I expect a health care practitioner to have a better understanding of the issues involved with so-called patient dumping, but I think it is irresponsible of him (and you) to imply by the content in your blog that Kaiser is guilty of the charges filed and should be punished...before a trial has taken place. What about due process? I believe in free speech, but Dr. Dorodny's comments are irresponsible. Please consider that to be our (HASC) response to your invitation.
Jim Lott
In further review of the available information, I have to agree with Mr. Lott that naming just the Kaiser Hospital was irresponsible on my part.

Hence, I am going to act in a socially and professionally responsible manner by citing the most recent patient dumping by Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center (HPMC) of a 41-year-old paraplegic man left in soiled hospital gown, without a wheelchair, on the curb by a hospital-hired van as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

Acting in a responsible manner , the office of the Los Angeles city attorney has begun investigating whether staff from Hollywood Presbyterian hospital dumped a paraplegic man in a gutter in front of a local mission.

Unfortunately, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center continues to act irresponsibly in refusing to cooperate with authorities conducting the investigation.

California does not have a State law prohibiting patient dumping, so the LA city attorney's office can only sue Kaiser and Hollywood Presbyterian under state law used to deal with unfair business practices (typically used to prosecute slum lords).

Kaiser Permanente is aslo being pursued on false-imprisonment charges for allegedly leaving a homeless woman on Skid Row last year.

The federal government, however--not the LA city attorney's office--would decide whether this behavior also violates EMTALA.

Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center has already hired the crisis management firm Sitrick and Co . to help weather the storm of criticism, in an attempt to defuse the situation.

The money would have been better spent on hiring additional social workers and creating a responsible and legal way to discharge patients without skid-row dumping.

The hospital is also quoted as saying that in the future it will require: “…the individual provide written consent to any transportation”—an irresponsible proposal considering that the two recently dumped patients are suffering from diminished mental capacity and are unable to give informed consent.

In answering Mr. Lott’s rhetorical question: ” ...What about due process?” we ask Mr. Lott, what about patients’ due process?

Ms. Jennifer Bayer, public affairs director for the Hospital Association of Southern California, was recently quoted saying fines and arrests are not productive.

We beg to disagree and suggest the following enlightened steps:

Hospitals should be penalized financially in a severe manner sufficient to erode their bottom line;

State of California should immediately suspend hospital's license to operate;

Hospital executives should be held civilly and criminally responsible for patient dumping;

The LA City Attorney office should prosecute them to the fullest extent allowable by law for unfair business practices, false imprisonment and any and all other charges they could come up with.

State Legislature should immediately criminalize patient dumping and attach mandatory jail terms.

Federal authorities should intervene immediately to investigate the violation of patients civil rights and to enforce EMTALA (Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act).

In the meantime, each sentinel event ("sentinel" because they signal the need for immediate investigation and response) of patient dumping by an accredited hospital should be reported to the Joint Commission for an immediate review of hospital's accreditation and suspension of its Medicare funding. Click here to download Sentinel Events Policy and Procedures

They dump and try to get away with it, we gripe and get called names, you decide!


Anonymous said...

Hey Bob-- After reviewing how you used my last reply to your unsolicited email request that HASC respond to your blog, l just want to wish you and Dorodny all the best in your all-too-obvious quest for attention and to create a following with your extremist positions and comments. Regards, Jim Lott

Anonymous said...

Lott Apologizes to Donin:

I'm sorry Bob for accusing you of being unprofessional for posting my initial e-mail response to your solicitation on your blog web site without either my knowledge or permission. I also apologize for suggesting that your doing so was unprofessional and and motivated by your desire to promote the extremist viewpoints you and Dorodny so desperately desire to promote. Most importantly, though, I'm sorry that I misjudged you, especially considering how long we have known each other. You take care of yourself now, okay? --Jim