- San Francisco Department of Public Health
- San Francisco-Marin Medical Society
- Community health providers
Laguna Honda Hospital is the largest skilled-nursing facility on the West Coast, with 750 beds, roughly the same number of patients, and over 1,000 employees. Following several incidents in recent years, including two non-fatal overdoses, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) revoked the hospital’s certification and gave notice that all reimbursements for Medicare would cease. As Laguna Honda seeks recertification, CMS has required it to also file and begin to execute a transfer and closure plan. The plan has resulted in approximately 50 transfers so far, but at least 10 subsequent deaths of former patients caused alarm and immediate calls for a pause or termination of the transfer plan. Following the filing of two lawsuits — one by San Francisco seeking a permanent halt to the closure and one filed by a former city attorney on behalf of Laguna Honda patients and families — CMS and the California Department of Public Health announced a temporary pause of all transfers and discharges as part of the closure plan until Nov. 13. Advocacy at every level politically, coupled with local efforts, continues as these deadlines loom.
Take Aways / Next Steps
Hospital Council is deeply engaged on this matter, working in partnership with the San Francisco Department of Public Health, the mayor’s office, and other key partners and influencers. We have a meeting with CMS representatives scheduled at the end of August to discuss this further.