- The Washington Times - Monday, February 26, 2007

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A hospital said procedures “were not strictly followed” when a van driver left a discharged paraplegic man crawling on Skid Row this month, and steps will be taken to improve services for the homeless.

The statement last week by Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center occurred as local and state officials, responding to a series of incidents, presented a bill that would make it a crime for hospitals to discharge homeless patients on streets.

Authorities said the man was seen crawling in the street Feb. 9 after being dropped off by a van.

“As a result of our investigation, and the fact that some policies and procedures were not strictly followed, Hollywood Presbyterian is implementing a series of actions to further enhance hospital services for the homeless who receive care at the facility,” the hospital statement said.

The reported dumping of homeless patients by hospitals and release of criminals on Skid Row by law enforcement agencies has been under investigation by Los Angeles police for months.

Authorities have had trouble building criminal cases against medical providers because there isn’t a state law that specifically prohibits leaving patients on the streets.

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