Patient-dumping saga continues as LA officials get involved
By Jen Kastner. CREATED Apr 24, 2013
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The state of Nevada continues to fall deeper into the fire after allegations that patients from Las Vegas' Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital were bused out-of-state and dumped off with no place to go.
Now, Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich is launching his own investigation into the matter, after learning roughly 500 mentally-ill patients may have dumped on his city's doorstep. "It taxes the resources of the residents of Los Angeles in terms of their ability to receive the services they may need," he says.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles county's homeless outreach teams are searching large parks, Hollywood and Skid Row to see if any of these allegedly dumped patients turn up.
Reporter Phillip Reese with the Sacramento Bee tells us their circulation's investigation into these allegations started when a patient from the Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital showed up in his city. "He was sent here without any family or friends. When he got [there] he said he didn't know why he was sent [there]."
The Sacramento Bee discovered that over the past five years patients from the hospital were sent to every state in the country, excluding Alaska and Hawaii.
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval admitted Tuesday that at least one case has turned up within state in which a patient was discharged improperly. Reese doesn't buy it. "We've talked to some mental health officials in San Francisco, though, who say they've seen at least two other cases of patients coming to their city that did not have a plan and did not have any family [there]."
Nevada is now investigating the roughly 1,500 cases in which one way bus tickets were purchased for Las Vegas' mentally-ill patients.
The state reports it has now changed its policy regarding patient transportation. Under current guidelines, patients' travels must be overseen by at least two hospital employees.