**Promoted from the TAM Wire, posted by rickh**
Not enough funds to go all the way to Asylum Central- Washington, DC. Close enough for Govt Work.
San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera is demanding that Nevada reimburse California cities and counties for treatment of about 500 indigent psychiatric patients who were given one-way bus tickets to the Golden State in recent years.
Those costs include about $500,000 that Herrera says San Francisco spent on medical care, housing and other aid for 20 people shipped here in a practice sometimes called Greyhound therapy.
In a letter to be sent Tuesday to Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, a draft of which was obtained by The Chronicle, Herrera threatened to file a class-action lawsuit accusing Nevada of misappropriating public funds from California unless the neighboring state agrees within 20 days to reimburse cities and counties and to adopt interstate transfer rules for patients.
Those would include confirming that a patient is a resident of the city where he or she is being sent, or has family there.
Herrera’s office, which subpoenaed bus company records, says it has the names of nearly 500 patients who have been discharged from a state-run psychiatric hospital in Las Vegas since April 2008 and sent by Greyhound bus to California. Of those, 24 sent to San Francisco were indigent, homeless and suffering from mental illness, according to the letter. Twenty of those received medical care or other city-funded treatment in San Francisco.
Herrera contends that staffers at Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital, Nevada’s primary state mental facility, “understood and expected that the bused patients would rely on San Francisco’s public health resources.” They also directed some patients to seek care at the city’s public health clinics, Herrera said.
“The manner in which these patients were transported was inhumane and unacceptable,” Herrera wrote. “These patients were transported without escorts; without prior arrangements for a responsible party to receive them at their destination; (and) without adequate provisions of medication or food.”
Officials in Masto’s office and at the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services declined to comment, citing the impending litigation.
The practice, sometimes referred to as patient dumping or Greyhound therapy, has long been rumored as a way for other jurisdictions to transfer their mental health or homeless problems to more liberal enclaves like San Francisco. Herrera said there now is evidence to back that up.