(LOS ANGELES) — The largest psychiatric hospital in Nevada is accused of busing mentally ill patients to California and dumping them in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas is suspected of exporting its mentally ill to neighboring California over the last five years.
“No medicine, no treatment, no care – people who have mental issues just dumped,” said Los Angeles City Atty. Carmen Trutanich.
It’s both unfair to the patients and unfair to the citizens of California, Trutanich explained. “It taxes the resources of the residents of Los Angeles in terms of their ability to receive the services that they may need.”
Officals at Rawson-Neal deny the allegations, and indeed no documented cases of busing have been found, though homeless community outreach groups are keeping an eye out.
“We don’t just put people on buses and dump them,” Dr. Tracey Green, Nevada state health officer, explained. “I mean, every time I hear that I cringe.”
Green claims that the accusations do stem from one instance of a Rawson-Neal patient being bused to Sacramento, but says that was an isolated documentation error, not a trend. The patient, described as unhinged and suicidal, had been mistakenly discharged and put on a bus with a three-day supply of medication and some snacks.
“This is about an error, a documentation error. This is not about a system error. That’s not our statewide policy, that’s not how we treat people here,” Green said.
Trutanich said that his office is launching a full investigation.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Sam Penrod, KSL.com
Kevin Conlon, Euan McKirdy and Johanzynn Gatewood, CNN
Susan Scutti, CNN