Pacifica Hospital to pay $1M settlement for patient dumping

Pacifica Hospital of the Valley has agreed to pay $1 million to resolve allegations that the Sun Valley, Calif.-based hospital failed to follow homeless patient discharge protocols when it sent a patient by taxi to a nursing home, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer alleged Pacifica Hospital put the patient, Kasey Lucious, in a taxi headed to Crenshaw Nursing Home in Los Angeles, but failed to ensure she entered the facility. Ms. Lucious was found by the California Highway Patrol three days later, according to the city attorney.

Mr. Feuer further alleged that Pacifica Hospital failed to correctly reserve Ms. Lucious a bed at Crenshaw Nursing Home.

Regarding the settlement, Pacifica Hospital released a statement to the Los Angeles Daily News saying the hospital contested the material allegations by the city attorney. Pacifica Hospital said it entered the settlement agreement to avoid the costs of litigation.

Pacifica Hospital settled similar allegations in the past. In 2014, the hospital agreed to pay $500,000 and follow a new set of homeless discharge protocols to resolve patient dumping allegations.

Pacifica Hospital isn't the only hospital in the Los Angeles area accused of patient dumping. In April, Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles agreed to pay $450,000 to resolve allegations that it left a homeless patient on the streets without a plan for recuperative care after he was treated for an injury at the facility.

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