The San Francisco city attorney announced a lawsuit against the federal government in an attempt to halt the looming closure of the Laguna Honda Hospital and long-term care facility.
The hospital was forced to start closing after the feds cut funding, citing years of issues and ordered the dozens of long-term care patients be moved out by next month.
The city admits the hospital faces a very complex problem, but also notes it’s a safety net for some of the area’s most vulnerable people and that a looming shutdown deadline is arbitrary.
Now, they’re suing to stop it, arguing with the government to show some compassion.
“I have a son at Laguna Honda, he has been there since 2002,” said Debra Bauer.
Her son has a brain injury and believes in the hospital’s rehabilitation center and the care he receives.
“He needs to have people who are familiar with him know how to coax him or treat with him and get him to participate and do the daily things that need to be done and the staff at Laguna Honda has built up a memory with him,” she said.
Bauer was on hand Thursday as the city announced two lawsuits meant to stop the federal government from cutting off medicare and medicaid funding and ordering that hundreds of patients be transferred by Sept. 13.
“We’re asking for the federal government simply to continue funding at least until the appeals process is complete and all patients can actually be safely located which we know will not be by Sept. 13,” said City Attorney David Chiu.
“The problem is the uncertainty. We get mixed messages and lack of clarity. Not clear in our written communication,” said Mayor London Breed. “We’re told one thing and then another this is frustrating, it’s scary.”
The hospital advocates note that at the height of the pandemic, six patients died, but nine have died after recent transfers.
They also note there is a real shortage of alternate sites for patients to go to.
NBC Bay Area reached out to the federal agencies for comment, a spokesperson said they don’t comment on matters in litigation.
Source: NBC Bay Area