Investigative video shows Kentucky hospital dumping elderly homeless patients on the streets
· Aug 2, 2023 ·

A Louisville University hospital employee started an investigation into the practice of patient dumping in Kentucky hospitals.

She called local outlet WAVE News to report an elderly woman that the hospital had just dumped across the street on the sidewalk. She was still in her hospital gown, and it was 32 degrees outside.

The reporters followed up, and set up a stake out. Not long after, they watched security dump another elderly woman with a walker in the middle of the night.

They interviewed a homeless man in need of medical care who was dumped as well.

[Warning: Hard to watch]

Of course it's easy to jump on the moral outrage bandwagon here, but these humanitarian issues unveil some hard to address logistical problems.

On the hospitals' side of thing, they are required by law to stabilize patients but not to provide shelter for homeless people. They're short staffed enough without becoming homeless shelters.

A sentiment many hospital workers are not afraid to vocalize.

New CMS measures tracking social determinants of health aim at making hospitals more responsible for ensuring these folks get in contact with community organizations that can provide shelter.

But, and this is a big BUT, those community organizations, like homeless shelters, are not often equipped to help elderly, chronically ill patients get the care they need.

As inflation continues to make everyday living more difficult and as the elderly population continues to grow, I imagine these scenarios at hospitals around the country will become ever more common.

We'll need more shelters for the elderly with some sort of post-acute care, but who will staff them?

Perhaps if the federal government dropped its vaccine mandate for medical workers and brought back the estimated 18% of the field that left because of them, we might not have to watch elderly women in hospital gowns thrown out in the cold.

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