Some Iowa hospitals have violated a law requiring them to take any and all patients who come in the door.The regulation says a hospital won’t turn away any patient for emergency treatment regardless of ability to pay. The Health Research Group in Washington found that between 1996 and 2000, 527 hospitals in the nation violated what’s been dubbed the “patient dumping law,” just twelve of them in Iowa. Marshalltown, West Union, Carroll and Iowa Lutheran in Des Moines were fined for violations, though no details are available. Administrators say a case can be as simple as a patient who decides not to wait in a buddy emergency room, and the Iowa Hospital Association points out that the state’s 126 hospitals treated nearly 840-thousand people last year.
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