Laguna Honda Hospital pauses patient transfers

Patient transfers out of San Francisco-based Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center were paused by city officials July 28.

San Francisco's largest skilled nursing facility began discharging its patients in June as part of a federally mandated plan to relocate all residents by September. 

"We are glad to be in agreement with CMS and CDPH and all understand that Laguna Honda residents have complex needs and that transferring them is often a challenge," said Roland Pickens, CEO of the San Francisco Health Network and interim CEO of Laguna Honda Hospital. "Our staff are providing Laguna Honda residents with the best care possible while we all work towards recertification with CMS. Laguna Honda has served San Francisco's most vulnerable residents for 150 years and we plan to do so for another 150 years."

City officials urged HHS to put patient transfers out of the facility on hold as it attempts to regain certification, the San Francisco Examiner reported July 27.

The facility had transferred 57 out of 681 residents as of July 26. Four of those who moved died within just a few days of their relocation, and at least three were sent to homeless shelters, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

The city's Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution calling on HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra to suspend the transfers and urging California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Tomas Aragon, MD, DrPH, the state's public health chief, to declare the closure of the facility an emergency to stop the relocations. 

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