I-Team: Mentally Ill Given Bus Tickets to California - 8 News NOW

I-Team: Mentally Ill Given Bus Tickets to California

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LAS VEGAS -- Allegations of patient dumping by Nevada's mental health system are expected to get a hearing before the state Legislature next week.

Lawmakers want to know how a schizophrenic Nevada patient ended up in California by Greyhound bus with three days worth of medication and instructions to call 911 for services when he arrived.

On their face, the allegations raised by a California homeless shelter are at best shocking, and at worst, inhumane.

The I-Team has learned that if patient James Brown was indeed sent to California without any resources on the other end, whoever sent him there, shouldn't have.

It is simply not state policy to patient dump.

Records obtained by the I-Team reveal that since July of last year, some two percent of patients with Southern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services, were discharged to California, the bulk of them by bus.

But of those patients, the vast majority was California residents with state-issued identification headed home and with confirmed connections on the other end.

Those not in that category, according to the state, were going to live with identified family members or friends or had expressed a preference for treatment in California.

Though Brown's discharge papers do not seem to reflect any of those circumstances, state health officer Dr. Tracey Green said the case is under investigation.

"We currently have three open investigations, and clearly if there is a policy violation, there will be disciplinary action or policy changes, whatever are the needed actions," Green said.

An internal review by the Division of Mental Health Services is under way, along with external reviews by both the state Division of Healthcare Quality and Compliance, and the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Green said she will make the findings public, and if mistakes were made, staff will be held accountable.

Of additional concern is Brown, who is missing.

The I-Team has learned that the homeless shelter in California put him on a bus to a psychiatric facility, but he never arrived.

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