Patient Dumping Incident Reported in Los Angeles
The Los Angeles County Police Department is questioning officials from Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center after witnesses on Thursday accused a van affiliated with the hospital of illegally leaving a patient in the Skid Row neighborhood of Los Angeles after being discharged from the hospital, the Los Angeles Times reports (Blankstein/Winton, Los Angeles Times, 2/9).
The hospital offered a different account of the incident (DiMassa/Winton, Los Angeles Times, 2/10).
LAPD detectives traced a van to the hospital after witnesses wrote down a phone number on the van and its license-plate number.
Police Officer Eric de la Cruz said that the patient told hospital staff that he had nowhere else to go but the "staff told him he could no longer stay there." The patient currently is being treated at County-USC Medical Center (Los Angeles Times, 2/9).
However, hospital spokesperson Dan Springer said a preliminary investigation found that the patient instructed the driver to open the door and let him out as the van was approaching a mission that the patient listed as his home address. Springer said an earlier attempt by an ambulance to transport the patient to the mission failed because there was no space.
A mission official disputes the account, saying that no one was turned away from the mission during the entire week.
LAPD is expanding an ongoing investigation of an earlier patient dumping case involving the hospital to include Thursday's incident (Los Angeles Times, 2/10).
KPCC's "KPCC News" on Friday reported on the incident. The segment includes comments from a supervisor at Gladys Park who witnessed the incident and a Los Angeles Police Department officer who is investigating the case (Stolze, "KPCC News," KPCC, 2/9).
"KPCC News" on Friday also reported on how hospital officials and advocates for the homeless are addressing the issue of "patient dumping." The segment includes comments from Jim Lott, executive director of the Hospital Association of Southern California, and Bob Erlenbusch, executive director of the Los Angeles Coalition to End Hunger and Homelessness (Myrow, "KPCC News," KPCC, 2/9).
Audio of both segments is available online.