American Medical Association Votes To Study Repatriation of Uninsured Immigrants by Hospitals
The American Medical Association's House of Delegates on Monday at their national meeting in Orlando, Fla., voted to conduct a study examining repatriation of uninsured immigrants by hospitals, the New York Times reports.
Prompted by the California Medical Association, which voted to oppose the practice in October, AMA delegates expressed concern about repatriation, which they called an "inappropriate discharge of patients," but declined to take a stand before examining the financial, legal and medical issues involved.
Joseph Annis, an AMA trustee, said, "It's too complex a subject for us to come up with a one- or two-sentence reaction," adding, "On the one hand, patients shouldn't be dumped. On the other, hospitals need to be solvent." He said, "After all, if the care of these patients were actually paid for by some entity, these repatriations would not be happening and this would not be an issue" (New York Times, 11/11).