Hospital Statement Regarding Allegations of Inappropriate Patient Drop Off
HOSPITAL STATEMENT REGARDING ALLEGATIONS OF INAPPROPRIATE PATIENT DROP OFF
February 10, 2012 - White Memorial Medical Center (WMMC) is a non-profit hospital that exists to provide high quality, safe care to patients from our local community and the Greater Los Angeles region regardless of their ability to pay. Keeping our communities healthy has been WMMC's mission ever since it was founded in 1913.
We take seriously our responsibility to provide excellent care and to keep our patients safe. We have reviewed the public lawsuit documents that have been filed, and we are saddened to learn that Mr. Jesse Bravo did not feel he received the highest level of care, and that he had a negative experience after discharge from our hospital. While we understand the concerns expressed in the complaint, the allegations contained in the lawsuit are false, including allegations that White Memorial Medical Center would physically restrain a patient in "plastic handcuffs" upon discharge.
By law we cannot disclose this patient's protected health information without his consent. Even though the patient has chosen to release many details of his care in his court filings, Mr. Bravo has refused to sign a waiver, which would allow WMMC to comment further on his allegations. As a result, WMMC is legally bound to protect this patient’s privacy rights, preventing us from being as open and transparent as we would like to be about the care we provided.
However, we have welcomed an investigation by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the Department of Mental Health (DMH) and the Joint Commission Office of Quality Monitoring (Joint Commission) into this case. Also, we would support any investigations by any other government agencies that wish to officially review the circumstances of this case.
In addition to our full collaboration with these investigations, we opened our own investigation and invited an external and well-respected psychiatrist to review the circumstances and facts of this case. Furthermore, we have taken precautions to prevent this type of situation in the future by requiring all drivers of WMMC courtesy vans to escort mental health patients to their final destination and obtain a signature from a representative of the continuing care facility upon patient arrival.
We sympathize with Mr. Bravo and his family, and hope they will be able to find resolution to their concerns.