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Silver Lake Medical Center agrees to settle homeless dumping charges involving hundreds of patients

The Silver Lake Medical Center campus in Echo Park

Echo Park —  The Silver Lake Medical Center, which operates facilities in Echo Park and Rosemead, agreed to a $550,000 settlement to deal with allegations that hundreds of homeless patients may have improperly discharged and dropped off at bus stops and train stations, officials announced today

An announcement by the L.A. City Attorney and the L.A. District Attorney said the agreement will allow the Silver Lake Medical Center to remain part of the region’s psychiatric network while revamping its practices.  The medical center operates a 118-bed psychiatric hospital in Rosemead in addition to its main hospital, offices and urgent care center on Temple Street in Echo Park.

The deal comes after the City Attorney investigated information provided by a whistle blower. The hospital did not admit any wrongdoing as part of the agreement.

As many as 750 homeless patients with mental problems were dropped off at bus stops and train station, authorities said at a news conference, according to the L.A. Times. It’s not clear how many of those patients were discharged from the Echo Park or Rosemead hospitals.

“Patient dumping is an outrage and should never happen again–to anyone,” said City Attorney Mike Feuer in a statement. “As Los Angeles struggles with its homeless crisis, my office will continue to confront any facility that leaves a vulnerable patient to fend for him or herself.”

Under the settlement, the medical center will revamp is discharge rules, establish an employee program regarding the rules, ensure that patients are offered appropriate transportation to a suitable new location and determine if the patient is eligible for housing and social service programs.

Silver Lake Medical Center will spend $250,000 of the settlement to directly cover expenses charged by housing providers for homeless patients who cannot afford such services.

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2 comments

  1. Before even considering anything else here, the big problem is that this was handled by the mere City Attorney’s Office, which has jurisdiction only in the City of Los Angeles (not Rosemead) and cannot even file a felony, only a misdemeanor, but did not even file a misdemeanor.

    Why is the District Attorney’s Office ignoring this? Where is the state on this, why has it not done anything, it is the one who licenses these places? Why are the administrators of this facility not at least being fired and not allowed to run such a facility again?

    If this is the callousness of what this hospital does, is it even better or the least bit safe to be inside that place than out? When the operator has this much lack of caring or compassion, arguably a psychotic approach to patients, is it safe to let them handle any patients even inside their facility? Would you want this to be the place you were at if you, or your’s, needed to be an in-patient?

    Why is no level of government or regulator doing anything about this other than the City Attorney’s Office, which does not have the jurisdiction to do much of anything?

    Even this settlement — it does hardly anything, the amount of money involved here is a huge win for the hospital, is nothing compared to their profit margin. This is a WIN for the hospital, not a punishment.

  2. @Tom – I absolutely agree on all points! Such a paltry sum for such a major infraction affecting so many helpless people!

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