A Georgia hospital released an elderly Black man onto the street, only for him to be returned to the emergency room by emergency responders. Located in Conyers, about 20 miles east of Atlanta, Piedmont Rockdale Hospital discharged a man who, by all accounts, was clearly in need of medical attention.
CBS-46 interviewed Conyers Deputy Chief of Police Scott Freeman, who called the hospital’s behavior “inhumane.” Freeman told reporters he plans on filing a complaint with the Georgia Department of Community Health. It will make his second complaint against the hospital since August.
Officers were called to the hospital to remove the man. Freeman said there was no indication he was acting disgruntled or belligerent, and it wasn’t their job to evict people from hospitals.
Other local news reports explain the man had been “cleared” by doctors. Medicare would not allegedly cover the man’s additional care, and the hospital ceased providing care. But an officer found him lying on the ground outside near the hospital with tubes still in him.
Atlanta’s WSB-TV reported that emergency responders were called to the scene. Upon arrival, responders found the man had signs of sepsis, a fever, a urinary tract infection, and an elevated heart rate.
While it is unclear precisely what the man’s coverage issue was, expanding Medicare coverage is part of the Biden administration’s Build Back Better plan. The plan would also expand home health care for older Americans and increase wages for the people who care for them.
Ensuring Americans have affordable and accessible health care is unfortunately only half the battle. There need to be protections to make sure hospitals don’t just throw people out despite the need for care.
The hospital locked its Twitter Account Saturday afternoon in a response that can only be described as a bad PR move. A non-profit health system with 11 hospitals and over 500 offices across the state, the hospital decided it was better to protect its tweets instead of providing an honest response to the egregious display by one of its hospitals.
Former Congressional candidate Nabilah Islam tweeted about the case calling the U.S. healthcare system a disgrace.
“A hospital released a sick 68 yr old man b/c his Medicare would no longer pay for his care,” Islam tweeted. “He was found lying on a sidewalk outside the hospital w/ tubes out of his body. Our healthcare system is a disgrace & @PiedmontHealth needs to be held accountable.”