San Francisco Settles Patient-Dumping Lawsuit with Nevada - NBC Bay Area
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San Francisco Settles Patient-Dumping Lawsuit with Nevada

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    A Greyhound bus is seen in this Getty file photo. Patients discharged from a Las Vegas psychiatric hospital in September 2013 were reportedly given bus tickets to California cities for further care.

    San Francisco supervisors accepted a $400,000 payment from Nevada Tuesday, settling a two-year dispute over allegations that psychiatric patients were wrongly shipped to California upon discharge.

    Supervisors approved the settlement without comment. The settlement requires a second board vote, which is expected.

    The city sued Nevada in September 2013 after the Sacramento Bee published accounts of patients who were discharged from the Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas, and given bus tickets to California cities for further care.

    San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said 24 people with no prior connection to the city had been bused here over a five-year period, and 20 needed medical care shortly after they arrived.

    He said at the time that the practice "punishes jurisdictions for providing health and human services that others won't provide."

    Herrera's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    The Nevada Board of Examiners approved the settlement earlier this month. Officials there said that the settlement specifies both parties must notify each other when patients are planning to travel from one jurisdiction to the other, although discharged patients are legally free to move around as they please.

    Nevada officials said they have similar agreements with Oregon and Sacramento, California.

    In the months immediately after the newspaper's investigation, Nevada health officials said they improved policies to better care for discharged patients at their destination. Several employees were fired.

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