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San Francisco to investigate 'patient dumping'

April 23, 2013 at 8:56 AM

SAN FRANCISCO, April 23 (UPI) -- San Francisco's city attorney announced the start of an investigation into whether Nevada improperly "dumped" psychiatric patients into the city and California.

In a letter to the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services Monday, City Attorney Dennis Herrera asked for the agency to turn over documents related to its practice of transporting mental patients throughout the country on Greyhound buses, The Sacramento Bee reported.

The letter cites a Bee investigation that revealed how a Las Vegas hospital bused about 1,500 patients to other cities and states between 2008 and 2013. In that time period, the hospital bused 500 patients to California, the Bee reported, 30 of whom were sent to San Francisco.

"Assuming the reports are true, Nevada's practice of psychiatric 'patient dumping' is shockingly inhumane and illegal," Herrera said in a statement. "We intend to investigate these reports thoroughly, and I am inviting input from providers of services to San Francisco's homeless, who may be willing to volunteer evidence and testimony to assist the city in a potential civil action. "

Herrera said he will seek compensation from Nevada if the city determines the state did transport patients to San Francisco.

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