Hospital Charged With Endangering the Homeless

  1. A Los Angeles hospital accused of dumping homeless patients on downtown's Skid Row is facing the first criminal charges in the city's campaign to crack down on the practice and clean up the area.

    Kaiser Permanente is among 10 hospitals under investigation by city prosecutors for allegedly discharging homeless patients to the streets of Skid Row rather than to a relative or shelter.

    The case against it stems from a March surveillance video showing a 63-year-old patient from Kaiser Permanente's Bellflower hospital wandering Skid Row in a hospital gown and slippers. Prosecutors describe what happened to Carol Ann Reyes in a document supporting the criminal charges filed late Wednesday.

    ABC News: Hospital Faces Skid Row Dumping Charges
  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   Sheri257
    Well ... I'll probably get flamed for this but, what are the hospitals supposed to do? This woman was homeless and living in a park before she was hospitalized.

    Ok ... they probably should have done a better job of notifying a shelter and getting her some clothes but ... would it have been any better if they dropped her off at the park where she was living before? Or, is all of this controversy just driven by the fact that is was caught on video tape and the media made a big deal out of it?

    How long can hospitals give free care to the homeless, illegal immigrants, drug addicts, and non-complaint frequent flyers who waste taxpayer dollars ... when working, productive, tax paying members of society can't get decent insurance or medical coverage?

    The line has to be drawn somewhere. I'm not sure why we're not talking about the fact that this woman was lucky to get any medical treatment at all.

    Last edit by Sheri257 on Nov 17, '06
  4. by   traumaRUs
    I worked in an inner city level one trauma center for 10 years, 2 of those years it was as a case manager on night shift. My responsiblity was discharge planning. It was not a fun thing. However, I would NEVER, EVER discharge a homeless patient without at least paper scrubs and a gown and that was in the summer!

    I had gotten donations of clothes from staff and fortunately was able to give out coats, hats, gloves, socks, toothbrushes and toothpaste during the winter.

    Even after 10 years I was not so jaded that I didn't consider these folks people.
  5. by   EmerNurse
    I see where Liz is going with this though. Ok I can agree that the transportation used for d/c (the driver) can escort the person inside the shelter. I can even get where the shelter can be notified that the person is on the way. But.. what if the shelter says NO? Will the hospital be required to keep that person admitted until a shelter or other place can be found, even though they came from off the street? Will the EMTALA law that requires every ER to see everyone who comes in, now require all hospitals to find homes for every homeless person they treat?

    The hospital's role is healthcare - and they're having a tough enough time meeting that goal, what with horrible staffing, ER abuse, etc. To then say that the hospital is responsible for housing the homeless they treat... that's going too far, IMHO. D/C planning is important yes, but how far does a hospital have to go?

    I would dearly love to see all homeless folks housed (who want to be housed), but I don't believe it is the hospital's responsibility. Society's? Perhaps. The governments? Probably - which makes it society's anyway, doesn't it? But not the individual hospitals.

    <Just picturing how to clear out my ER for the next 50 people in the waiting room when a shelter says "nope, sorry can't bring 'em here". <sigh>
  6. by   CHATSDALE
    this is one of those horrid situation where there seems like there is no solution
    many of the homeless have mental issues that family members are unable or unwilling to assist in their care

    many of the homeless have had bad situations with shelters and refuse to go there

    dumping a confused woman out on a sidewalk is certainly not the answer but neither is requiring a hospital to keep pts who no longer benefit from health care . how would you like to be told that you can't put family memeber in hospital because they are full of homeless
  7. by   pickledpepperRN
    She is 63 years old. If she were 65 she would qualify for Medicare and a SNF or group home.

    If she had someone to navigate the system for her this woman suffering from dementia would surely qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for the disabled. She would then qualify for Medicare and a Social Security check.
    I doubt the American people would deny her this.