As reported recently by the Indianapolis Star, The Wesley Healthcare nursing home in Auburn, Indiana was recently cited for sending a patient to the hospital and refusing to take the patient back after the physicians found no reason to keep him there. The patient was forced to live for 5 days in an emergency room cubicle as a result, and additional weeks in the hospital. This practice, which is known as “patient dumping,” is a common occurrence in Indiana. According to the article, in the case involving Wesley Healthcare, the patient was dumped after he had reported problems at the facility to the Indiana State Department of Health. The article discusses how the practice of nursing home dumping has been linked to retribution against patients who notify the state of problems in the facilities. Despite the cost involved with forcing this patient to remain in the ER and hospital for such an extended period of time, the fine for violating this patient’s rights was just $2,600. And, according to the article, facilities are rarely fined for patient dumping at all. Is it too much to ask for those in charge of protecting our state’s nursing home population from neglect and abuse to send a message that this practice will not be tolerated by aggressively investigating and holding facilities accountable for patient dumping?
You can read this article here.