A Baltimore hospital is being investigated after a man captured footage of employees wheeling a patient outside to leave her in freezing weather (video below). The practice, called "patient dumping," might occur in hospitals across the nation.
In a video shared by CBS News, Imamu Baraka can be heard calling after employees outside of the University of Maryland Medical Center's Midtown Campus.
"So ya'll just going to leave this lady here without no clothes on?" he asked them. "That is not okay."
The workers, one of whom was pushing an empty wheelchair, ignored Baraka as he asked whether there was a supervisor available. They had just left a woman at the bus stop in nothing more than hospital gown.
"It's about 30 degrees out here right now," Baraka said into the camera.
He approached the woman and asked her if she was OK or able to speak. She does not appear to respond in the video but can be heard crying.
Baraka later called the police so the woman could get some help. According to CBS, he said that medics took her back to the same hospital.
The medical center issued a statement on the incident, explaining that they "share the shock and disappointment of many who have viewed the video."
"In the end we clearly failed to fulfill our mission with this patient," they concluded.
CBS reports that the incident may result in disciplinary action for the employees on the video.
This is not the first time that a medical facility has been accused of putting patients out into the street. In 2007, "60 Minutes" did a report on patient dumping of homeless people in Los Angeles.
According to Bustle, the term "patient dumping" was developed in the 1980s to describe private hospitals' practice of turning away poor, homeless or uninsured patients to public hospitals or, in more severe cases, simply leaving them outdoors.
A 1986 law titled the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) fines hospitals for rejecting them without first conducting an examination. The American College of Emergency Physician's reports that $345,000 in fines from 12 hospitals and one physician were collected between Oct. 1, 2005, and Mar. 31, 2006, alone.
In 2016, Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles was ordered to pay $450,000 to settle allegations that they dumped a homeless patient on the streets.
It's unclear whether the University of Maryland will have to pay any fees related to this incident.