When you go to the emergency room for care, it is the staff’s responsibility to do everything they can to care for you. According to the U.S. News, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act protects people from being removed from a hospital for the inability to pay. If a facility can treat a patient, it has to treat the patient.
Unfortunately, some hospitals still turn patients away or discharge them too early.
What is patient dumping?
Patient dumping occurs when a hospital turns away a patient who requires medical attention or discharges a patient too early. Often, patients who become victims of patient dumping include those with pulmonary conditions like COPD, asthma and pneumonia. A hospital might claim they do not have the facilities to care for a patient, despite the opposite being true. A hospital cannot refuse a patient care based on the patient’s sex, health conditions, income or age.
When a hospital discharges you early, your condition can quickly deteriorate or lead to complications that could extend future hospital treatment and stays.
What are your rights?
No matter your insurance or ability to pay, hospitals must treat you when you show up in the emergency room. When you do not receive prompt care, it can lead to severe and even fatal consequences. Conditions can worsen, leading to further medical bills and the need for more severe treatment because of the denial. If a hospital fails to meet its obligations to the patient, it is liable.
Likewise, hospitals should not wait until your condition becomes an emergency to provide care.