Taking legal action to save Laguna Honda

I have an important update to share. This week, our San Francisco City Attorney’s Office filed a federal lawsuit to protect the patients of Laguna Honda Hospital and keep this critical institution open, after the federal government ordered its closure by September 13th.

Alongside a companion class action lawsuit filed by former City Attorney Louise Renne on behalf of Laguna Honda patients, we’re taking legal action in the hope that the federal government will exercise compassion and common sense. If you agree that we need to fight to keep Laguna Honda open, will you sign our petition?

For over 150 years, Laguna Honda has provided critical skilled nursing and rehabilitation services for our most vulnerable residents. It has been the last safety net for our seniors, our family members with severe disabilities, and those who can’t care for themselves.

While the facility had its challenges, our City has bent over backward to address issues and keep Laguna Honda open. But every step of the way, we’ve been met with resistance, particularly by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

CMS ordered Laguna Honda’s closure, the transfer and discharge of close to 700 patients, and the end of its federal funding by September 13th, a little more than a month away. This has put the hospital, its patients and our City in an impossible situation.

Relocating hundreds of patients is no simple task. Since the federal government required closure, Laguna Honda staff has called over one thousand skilled nursing facilities each week across California and neighboring states, but hasn’t been able to find suitable placements for most patients.

Laguna Honda’s patients have complex physical and mental health challenges, and transferring them to meet a rushed deadline poses significant risks. In recent weeks, nine former Laguna Honda patients have died after being transferred or discharged.

We need to protect patients from this rushed process, with hundreds of patients’ lives at stake. Our profound hope is that CMS will come to the table and work with us on a plan that protects the remaining 610 patients and preserves an institution that has been a critical safety net for so many.

For our patients, this hospital has been their last resort. With less than six weeks to go, this lawsuit is now our last resort. We must save Laguna Honda.

Please help us fight this by adding your name to our petition and telling the federal government to keep Laguna Honda open!

I will keep you updated as the case progresses in the coming weeks.