Over the past year, Nevada medical facilities have been accused of violating federal standards relating to patient discharge policies, resulting in thousands of improper discharges of patients still in need of medical treatment and with no provisions for post-discharge medical care. The practice has been dubbed “patient dumping,” and has occurred at an alarming frequency.
According to a news release from the City of San Francisco, the issue first came to light in March 2013, after 48-year-old James Brown became a victim of patient dumping. Brown, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety, had been a patient at the state-run Rawson-Neal Hospital in Las Vegas. Rawson-Neal discharged Brown from the hospital, put him in a taxi to a Greyhound bus station, and sent him on a 15-hour ride to Sacramento, California with snacks and a three-day supply of medication. Brown had never been to Sacramento, and had no friends or family in the area. Neither Brown nor Rawson-Neal had made any prior arrangements for Brown relative to his care, housing, or medical treatment once he arrived in the city. Rawson-Neal merely advised him to call 911 upon his arrival.