For Immediate Release
Contact: James Chionsini
Telephone: 415.703.0188 X 304
Homeless Patient Dumping Legislation Violated in San Francisco
Hospital Council and Dept. of Public Health hold secret meeting on discharging homeless patients from hospitals but does not invite key stakeholders, as required by state law.
The Healthcare Action Team (HAT) along with Supervisor Tom Ammiano, key homeless advocates and service providers will hold a press conference
Thursday August 23, 2007, 12:00 noon City Hall Steps to demand a voice in the policy development process.
State Law (AB 2745) was created to prevent the practice known as patient dumping of homeless people onto the streets or into places like homeless shelters that can not provide the medical care they require. AB 2745 explicitly mandates that a regional meeting comprised of “key stakeholders” including “nonprofit social service providers and regional advocates for the homeless” be held to discuss the hospital discharge of Homeless Persons. The report from this meeting will go to the State Legislature. The meeting (originally scheduled for August 22) was hastily held on Tuesday August 14, and very few "key stakeholders" in the community were actually informed of, or invited to this important meeting.
The Hospital Council of Northern and Central California and the San Francisco Department of Public Health invited primarily hospital representatives and city government insiders to the meeting. Ron L. Smith the regional vice president of the Hospital Council would not provide the minutes of this meeting saying that “I would not expect them for a couple of months.” Many organizations that work with directly with homeless people, resource centers and shelter operators who have medically fragile homeless persons discharged to their facilities daily were not informed. The Shelter Monitoring Committee, the Local Homeless Coordinating Board, the Coalition on Homelessness, The HealthCare Action Team and many other “key stakeholders” for the homeless who have identified gaps in the system serving homeless patients were likewise kept in the dark.
California State Assemblyman Dave Jones' (who wrote the legislation) office is concerned that this meeting is not in the spirit of the legislation and is investigating. Supervisor Tom Ammiano’s office has supported requiring that another meeting be held. Diana Valentine, chairperson of the SF Shelter Monitoring Committee said lividly, “How could they hold a meeting on the discharge of homeless patients and not include people from the place they get discharged to the most - Shelters?
Press conference will be held
Thursday August 23, 2007, 12:00 noon City Hall Steps.