LA hospital settles over leaving patient on street
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Fueur, center, and Deputy City Attorney Will Jay Pirkey, left, talk during a news conference on Thursday, April 21, 2016 at City Hall in Los Angles about patient dumping. A fourth Los Angeles-area hospital in less than three years has settled a civil lawsuit over a chronic problem in the nation's second-largest city, dumping homeless patients on the streets after they've been discharged, sometimes while still needing medical attention.
A fourth Los Angeles hospital in less than three years has settled a lawsuit for turning homeless patients out on the streets after they have been discharged, sometimes while still needing medical attention.
Without admitting fault, Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles settled for $450,000 and agreed to follow protocols to properly release homeless patients, City Attorney Mike Feuer said Thursday. That brings the amount of such settlements to $1.9 million since January 2014.
"There is no place in our society for patient dumping," Feuer said. "We all know how vulnerable any of us would be when we're released from a medical facility. Imagine how much more vulnerable one would feel if one were released and had no place to go."
The Good Samaritan case involves a former patient who was found on the streets in December 2014 with a visibly infected leg, the city attorney's office said. He was found after being released from the hospital's emergency room with only a bus token, Feuer said. He had to be hospitalized again for his infection.
The hospital disputes the allegations and said it settled the lawsuit to avoid protracted litigation.
"Good Samaritan Hospital remains committed to providing accessible, quality, cost-effective and compassionate health care services that meet the needs of our patients, their families, the community and our physicians," the facility said in a statement. "Our goal is to deliver the best possible care to anyone who comes through our door."
The hospital said its standard practice is to work with homeless patients on discharge plans that include identifying placement options and giving help to get there "if the patient accepts the recommendations."
The practice of leaving patients on the streets of Los Angeles, has been a problem for years.
The issue garnered national attention in 2006 after a surveillance camera recorded a 63-year-old woman with dementia wandering around in a hospital gown and slippers.
The next year, a paraplegic man was seen sliding along a sidewalk, dragging a broken colostomy bag behind him. Police said the man was dropped there by a van driver from a Medical Center.
- Editor:Albert | Source: The Associated Press
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