Pacifica Hospital to pay $500,000 in Skid Row patient dumping case

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A San Fernando Valley area hospital accused of dumping patients on Skid Row has agreed to pay $500,000 to homeless service providers and modify its discharge policies, the city attorney's office announced Thursday.

In January, Pacifica Hospital of the Valley allegedly discharged a homeless patient with a serious mental disability and transported the person to Skid Row, though the hospital has not admitted to any wrongdoing.

"Patient dumping has no place in our society, and my office will do everything possible to end this inhumane practice," said City Attorney Mike Feuer in a statement.

The service providers Pacifica has agreed to pay include Integrated Recovery Network, Downtown Women’s Center, Union Rescue Mission, Venice Family Clinic, Midnight Mission and L.A. Family Housing.

"Pacifica Hospital of the Valley is committed to offering patients excellent care and to implementing discharge policies that assure that when a patient leaves our hospital, that the patient’s re-entry into society is done in a respectful and humane manner," Dr. Ayman Mousa, the hospital's president and CEO, said in the statement.

In January, the city settled another patient dumping case with Beverly Community Hospital in Montebello.

That settlement required a payment of $200,000 in civil penalties and $50,000 for the city's legal fees. It also required the hospital to strengthen its policies and procedures for discharging homeless patients and to boost staff training.

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