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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