San Francisco Threatens Lawsuit over Nevada Patient Dumping

Discharged patients arrived in city broke, homeless and mentally ill


 
 

| Wednesday, August 21, 2013


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco officials are considering suing Nevada for allegedly giving some 500 poor psychiatric patients one-way bus tickets to California.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera planned to send a letter containing the allegations to Nevada Attorney General Catherine Masto on Tuesday.

The San Francisco Chronicle (http://bit.ly/1cWenyg) reported that a draft of the letter threatens a class-action lawsuit against Nevada unless it reimburses California cities and counties for the costs of dealing with the patients and adopts interstate transfer rules for patients.

The letter says the patients were discharged from a state-run psychiatric hospital in Las Vegas since April 2008 and got one-way bus tickets to California. Two dozen sent to San Francisco were broke, homeless and mentally ill.

Officials at Masto's office and Nevada's health department declined to comment to the newspaper.

Meantime, officials at University Medical Center in Las Vegas were questioning California health authorities about a woman left in the facility's emergency room.

Dr. Dale Carrison, the medical center's chief of staff, said the woman from California's Napa State Hospital — a state mental institution — claimed a caseworker there drove her to Las Vegas with promises of a place to stay and a disability check, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal (http://bit.ly/14RVxhZ ). Officials could find no indication the woman had any ties to Las Vegas.

"I have been told by California authorities I contacted that they are looking into the situation," Carrison told the newspaper.

San Francisco's letter to Nevada's attorney general comes after a psychiatric patient filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in Nevada, alleging the state give him a one-way bus ticket to Northern California, where he arrived disoriented and with no money, identification or contacts.

The suit filed by James Flavey Coy Brown seeks class-action status on behalf of as many as 1,500 people his lawyers claimed were bused from Nevada to other states.

The legal action followed a Sacramento Bee report on Brown's experience, which spurred federal and state investigations. The city of Los Angeles has also launched a criminal investigation.

The patients in question were released from Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas, the only state adult psychiatric hospital in southern Nevada.

A Nevada Health and Human Services summary from April reported that 31,043 people were admitted to Rawson-Neal during a five-year span, and that 1,473 patients were provided bus transportation out of the state.

The review identified 10 cases where documentation was insufficient to determine whether hospital staff had checked to ensure the released patient had family or a support system waiting for them in the new state.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.
 

Mobile Category: 
News


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, mental illness

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Maryland Pool Chemical Leak Sends 35 Campers to Hospitals

Patients transported to four area hospitals.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Pennsylvania Ambulance Catches Fire

Investigators look into cause of fire.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Stolen Florida Ambulance Back in Service

Rig was stolen from outside of ER.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Ambulance Service Returns to Illinois City

Fire district picks up after ATS Medical Services.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Hands On July 2014

Check out the latest products and innovations in JEMS.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Wounded Veteran Resiliency

Marine is one of many in quality of life study.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

National EMS Memorial Bike Ride 2014

Over 50 riders honor those killed in the line of duty in 2013.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >