Los Angeles psychiatric facility settles patient dumping case
Silver Lake Medical Center, a 118-bed psychiatric facility in Los Angeles, agreed to pay a $550,000 settlement after the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office reportedly found the facility's staff dumped homeless patients at bus and train stations more than 750 times.
As part of the settlement, the facility, which has not admitted guilt, will create new protocols for discharging homeless patients. The medical center will also provide $550,000 to fund a new Homeless Patient Assistance Program.
City Attorney Mike Feuer has reached similar patient dumping case settlements with eight other hospitals, nursing facilities and medical centers totaling $4 million.
The City Attorney’s Office started the investigation after a whistleblower alleged the patient dumping. Feuer said the settlement will protect patients at the medical center’s facilities in Rosemead and Echo Park.
“Silver Lake must provide discharged patients with the best possible housing options to meet their needs, confirm the availability of recommended housing options prior to discharge, ensure that each homeless patient is offered appropriate transportation and a warm hand-off, determine if a patient is eligible for housing or other social services and assist patients in identifying and applying for those benefits and provide information about how patients can access psychiatric and other medical and social services after discharge,” according to the City Attorney’s office.
District Attorney Jackie Lacey said, "The hospital’s blatant disregard for the law and its patients’ well-being cannot be ignored or go unpunished. … Our homeless community deserves to be treated with the same humanity, dignity and respect that any of us would expect, especially from those tasked with our care and protection."
Patient dumping might seem like a practice that must have stopped decades ago, but this situation in Los Angeles - and many others - are proof it still occurs. It often happens to homeless or undocumented people as well as people with mental illness. Patients who are dumped are also more likely to be uninsured and unable to afford the high cost of psychiatric treatment.
- Los Angeles City Attorney LA City Attorney Mike Feuer and District Attorney Jackie Lacey Secure Settlement with Silver Lake Medical Center Over Allegations of Homeless Patient Dumping; will co-host summit to address challenges of discharging homeless patients
- The New York Times LA Hospital to Pay $550K in Homeless Patient Dumping Case