Kaiser Hospital Charged With Dependent Adult Abuse For Dumping 62-Year-Old Dementia Patient, Carol Ann Reyes, On Skid Row
Carol Ann is walking around in her hospital gown, because Kaiser hospital lost her clothes, according to 60 Minutes. When Kaiser decided it was time for her to go, they put her in a taxicab, wearing nothing but a hospital gown, and told the taxi to head for a rescue mission on Skid Row. The taxi dumped her on the street. The head of the rescue mission saw the whole thing and came to her aid. Carol Ann was readmitted to another hospital, because she was not well enough to be discharged.
Hospitals are required by federal law to arrange for safe post-discharge plans for all patients, including homeless patients.
The 60 Minutes Report said that patient dumping by hospitals on Skid Row is commonplace: hospitals think they can get away with it because dumped homeless patients blend in with the other homeless. Homeless patients probably donít have family to make a complaint on their behalf, and they may not even be able to reconstruct what happened to them if, like Carol Ann Reyes, they have a memory impairment such as dementia.
This is the same dynamic present in most cases of elder and dependent adult abuse, where the perpetrator exploits the victimís impairments and vulnerabilities to get away with abuse.
Another attempted patient dumping of a paraplegic homeless man in LA was also caught on tape.
The man was brought by paramedics from Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, who wanted to dump him at a rescue mission without so much as a wheelchair. The rescue mission said that they couldnít accommodate him, and he was taken back to the hospital, where he sat in the hospital waiting room all night. The next morning, a van from the hospital dumped him on the street.
The Los Angeles District Attorney charged Kaiser with criminal and civil dependent adult abuse of Carol Ann Reyes. A settlement of that case, which would change the way Kaiser deals with discharge of its homeless patients, is supposedly in the works. Ten other hospitals in the LA area have also been under investigation for patient dumping.
This story was originally reported by NPR in November of last year. To watch Anderson Cooperís report from 60 Minutes, which discusses both incidents, click here.