San Francisco Files Suit Against Nevada Hospital for Patient-Dumping

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera has filed a suit against the state of Nevada for allegedly giving psychiatric patients from a state-run hospital a one-way ticket to California for care.

Last month, Mr. Herrera sent a letter to Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, accusing the state of sending patients from Rawson-Neal Hospital in Las Vegas across the border knowing and expecting the patients to seek public healthcare and support services funded by California taxpayers.

The suit claims the state of Nevada has transferred approximately 1,500 Rawson-Neal patients to other states, including 500 patients sent by bus to California. Arrangements were not made for housing or care upon arrival in California, according to the suit, and many were simply told to dial 911 upon arrival. The 24 patients allegedly sent to San Francisco since 2008 allegedly cost the city $500,000 in shelter and medical care.

"What the defendants have been doing for years is horribly wrong on two levels: it cruelly victimizes a defenseless population, and punishes jurisdictions for providing health and human services that others won't provide. It's my hope that the class action we're pursuing against Nevada will be a wake-up call to facilities nationwide that they, too, risk being held to account if they engage in similarly unlawful conduct," said Mr. Herrera in the news release.

The suit seeks reimbursement for care and services provided to the bussed patients, and a court injunction to stop the bussing practice.

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