New Allegations of Patient Dumping Surface in L.A.
Los Angeles police and prosecutors are investigating whether Downey Regional Medical Center violated the law when the hospital paid a taxi driver to transport a discharged elderly patient to a homeless shelter in the downtown Skid Row neighborhood, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The hospital disputed the patient-dumping allegations, saying the patient was properly discharged and the shelter was notified by phone the patient would be dropped off (Winton, Los Angeles Times, 4/12).
Hospital officials said the patient insisted on leaving (AP/Sacramento Bee, 4/11).
Capt. Andy Smith of the Los Angeles Police Department says the mission told the hospital over the phone that the patient would be accommodated if he was ambulatory. However, the patient "wasn't in a fit condition to walk or move," according to Smith.
Smith added that the hospital's phone call to the mission asking to accept the patient "doesn't amount to a (legal) discharge plan." The patient does not live on Skid Row, nor has he ever been there, according to Smith.
An ambulance later transported the patient to County-USC Medical Center.
City officials have launched investigations into more than 50 other allegations of patient-dumping on Skid Row, according to the Times (Los Angeles Times, 4/12).