Last November, a hospital in California dropped off a 65-year-old homeless woman, in a hospital gown and diaper, on Skid Row. Now the hospital is trying to make up for it by creating “a new set of procedures that officials hope will become a model for the treatment and release of homeless patients.”
The agreement ends a lawsuit filed by the ACLU. The stipulations aren’t clear, but what’s known is that the hospital “will train and use special procedures in the treatment and release of homeless patients. Among the requirements is that they are provided clothing and transportation and a facility is contacted ahead of their release.”
Properly releasing homeless patients from the hospital is a national problem. The steps being taking by this one California hospital should just be the start of creating federal policy on this issue. For instance, the policy should include admitting the patient to a proper emergency service program.