Sun Valley Hospital Settles for $1 Million in Patient Dumping Allegations

A Sun Valley hospital has agreed to pay $1 million to settle allegations of patient dumping, City Attorney Mike Feuer announced Thursday.

The City Attorney's Office had accused Pacifica Hospital of failing to contact the family of Kasey Lucious, a patient with a history of homelessness and mental illness, before putting her in a taxi and sending her to a nursing facility that had not confirmed it would take her in.

Lucious ended up not checking into the nursing facility, and California Highway Patrol officials found her three days later wandering the streets, city attorneys said.

A representation from Pacifica Hospital was not immediately available for comment.

Pacifica Hospital will pay $1 million in civil penalties to the City Attorney's Office, and has agreed to do more training and adopt a more detailed policy for transportation of patients.

"Patient dumping is inhumane and we won't tolerate it,'' Feuer said.

This case underscores that when a hospital adopts homeless patient discharge protocols, it's got to follow them.

Feuer said the settlement is the second Pacifica Hospital has agreed to pay in connection with patient dumping accusations.

The hospital in May 2014 settled allegations by paying $500,000 and agreeing to adopt discharge policies for homeless patients.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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