San Francisco sues to keep Laguna Honda open

San Francisco city attorneys filed lawsuits to keep Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center open, The San Francisco Chronicle reported Aug. 4.

City Attorney David Chiu is urging a U.S. District Court judge to stop the federal government from cutting off funds to Laguna Honda, the city's largest skilled nursing facility, as of Sept. 13 while former City Attorney Louise Renne filed a separate lawsuit against state and federal officials on behalf of the facility's residents.

Patient transfers out of the facility were paused by city officials, having reached an agreement with federal agencies, on July 28 after staff began discharging patients in June as part of a federally mandated plan to relocate all residents by September. The facility had transferred 57 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.

"Pausing is not enough," Ms. Renne told The Chronicle. "We’re asking them to end the discharge. Period. Families are worried sick. The mere threat of a discharge is wrong."

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