New Granny Dumping Law Excites Doctors and Nurses.

Minneapolis, MN - Hospitalists and ER doctors clapped loudly Monday after Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed legislation SF 18342, making it illegal for families to drop elderly relatives off in the ER and then leave.  The offense is a misdemeanor with a fine of up to $2,500.

Dubbed the Granny Dumping Law, officials hope this puts an end to the practice of using expensive emergency rooms and hospitals as a holding tank for the state's at-risk elderly community while their children take family vacations to warmer climates or simply want a weekend alone without their parents or in-laws.

Doctors and nurses say they can see a granny dumping case from a mile away and are tired of being used as daycare staff by uncaring children who use the state's hospital system as their vacation kennel.

"At least once or twice a day every winter, we see families decked out in Tommy Bahamas, driving slowly through the ER parking lot in a minivan pilled high with suitcases before calmly wheeling granny up to triage to say something is wrong with nana and then driving off, " said ER triage nurse Adrian Bremer.

The legislation allows doctors and nurses to hand out fines on the spot, after being deputized by the state, when they suspect cases of granny littering in the ER.   The minimum fine is $1,000 but quickly rises to $2,500 for cases involving poocanos or toxic foot syndrome.

In today's age of entitlement, some families don't even try to hide their desire to rid grandma for the weekend. "I had a guy last Friday drop off his mother-in-law with a box of Kellogg's Raisin Bran ® saying he was having a big poker game this weekend and he'd be back Monday to pick her up," said Adrian. "When I told him that wasn't appropriate, he said 'EMTALA bitch' then asked where his satisfaction survey was."

Granny Dumping Law hopes to reduce Vacation Observation admissions.
Instead of working up these patients, ER doctors have started to call the hospitalist to directly admit them from triage for Vacation Observation (ICD-10 code 33.10.9).

"We used to call the families after everything came back normal except the gratuitous contaminated UA, but they never answered their phone and we aren't allowed to send an old person home from the ER," said emergency doctor James Johnson, who claims that's a hospital policy and he's just doing his job.

But hospitalists say the already busy winter months have become increasingly more intolerable with the rising number of vacation related admissions.

"I'm averaging three vacation observation patients a day on my list and they are the hardest to please.  I think the families are telling them we are a 5-star hospitel." said hospitalist Dr. Jenny Howell.

Even some community doctors have starting using Vacation Observation as a reason to clear their census for their own family vacation.

"It was awesome.  I had my Physician Assistant Assistant's nurse call the hospitalist last Friday evening and make up a story about how all seven of my patients needed a higher level of care so I could clear my census for vacation," said one Family Medicine doctor who wished to remain anonymous because he knew what he was doing was just plain shitty.




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