Laguna Honda workers secure an extended pause on patient transfers in their effort to keep the hospital open
This week, workers at San Francisco’s Laguna Honda hospital received good news. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has agreed to extend the pause on patient transfers from Laguna Honda Hospital. This is another huge victory for the safety of our patients and the future of our institution.
CMS revoked Laguna Hospital’s certification in April after a site visit found a number of violations. Laguna Honda was then mandated to discharge or transfer all patients by Sept. 13. On a separate timeline, the hospital has been working to achieve recertification by CMS in order to stay open. Laguna Honda needs CMS certification to care for patients on Medicare or Medicaid insurance plans, which compromise a significant chunk of the hospital’s funding.
Our union has been hard at work for months to hold management accountable to the plan of correction. We are meeting with management daily and are in regular meetings with the Mayor’s office, as well as other elected officials in San Francisco. Frontline members are participating in these meetings along with leaders in our union. We continue to push DPH to address staffing, hiring, and training needs.
This news comes on the heels of reports that some patients who were transferred out of Laguna Honda Hospital had died. San Francisco has since filed a lawsuit against the US Department of Health and Human Services over the closure and transfers.
“We understand how stressful and scary the last few months have been for workers and patients alike. Transfer trauma is a real danger for the people we care for, which is why our union is doing everything we can to get Laguna Honda Hospital recertified. We encourage community members to join us by contacting their elected leaders at all levels and asking them to stand with us,” said Theresa Rutherford, President-Elect of SEIU 1021.
Our goal is to make sure that Laguna Honda Hospital remains a great place for patients to receive care and for our members to work. We remain committed to putting a permanent stop to the transfer of patients to ensure that there are no disruptions to care. We’re also supporting recertification efforts to keep Laguna Honda Hospital hospital open so we can continue providing quality care to our patients for another 150 years to come.
“Laguna Honda Hospital is more than just a hospital, it is a long-term home for many. Keeping patients at Laguna Honda, where they are provided some of the most unique and comprehensive care available in this country, must be a priority for our community and for elected officials at all levels,” said Theresa.