SAN FRANCISCO—A group of protestors held a rally on August 13, to show their support to keep San Francisco’s Laguna Honda Hospital open. This demonstration comes about two weeks after the federal government decided to stop transferring patients to Laguna Honda Hospital. It is set to lose its funding in the coming month.

Protesters expressed their concerns over the closure because skilled nursing patients with special needs could be hurt by what’s called “transfer trauma,” which can result in a premature death. Twenty percent of the people who have been transferred via this process have died according to reports. About 600 residents of this facility have yet to find new living arrangements. 

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ordered Laguna Honda to shut down after finding that the hospital failed to meet the proper protocols for preventing infections, failed to maintain proper record keeping and patient monitoring, and drug paraphernalia. San Francisco filed a lawsuit to try to stop the closure.

It has been announced that the hospital’s official closure has been pushed back until November 13.

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the California Department of Public Health, and the City of San Francisco wrote in a statement:

“All parties are committed to ensuring that, regardless of income, people living in nursing homes are receiving safe, high-quality services and support. We are all focused on resident wellbeing while Laguna Honda continues to provide critically needed health care services for over 600 residents. The CMS [Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] appointed onsite facilitator who was installed on July 26, 2022, will remain on site working with CMS, CDPH, and the City and County of San Francisco. Medicare and Medicaid payments for new admissions to Laguna Honda have been on hold since January 14, 2022, and this temporary hold will remain in effect. CMS, CDPH, and the City and County of San Francisco will work together as Laguna Honda continues to provide critical services for vulnerable residents in San Francisco.”