(CBS) — It happens late at night – after 10 p.m. and before 4 a.m. It’s called “patient dumping.”
Celeste Emrick says it happened to her: She was dumped at a homeless shelter by a nursing home. She’s not the only one, 2 Investigator Dave Savini reports.
Emrick, a 57-year-old Multiple Sclerosis patient, says two men in a white van drove her to Chicago’s Pacific Garden Mission and left her at the front gate. It was the middle of the night, she was in a wheelchair and she didn’t have her medication.
“The bottle they gave me was empty,” she says.
She says Kensington Place Nursing & Rehab did the dumping.
Mission Pastor Philip Kwiatkowski says folks get dumped there, daily, from different nursing homes, medical centers and psychiatric facilities. Reasons vary; it could be financial, or residents who complain a lot, or other issues.
“It’s unconscionable and inhumane to see how people at times can be treated.”
The shelter’s security director, Glen Reed, says patients are typically left outside between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.
Illinois has led the nation in patient dumping. From 2011 to 2015, complaints skyrocketed 153 percent. Nationwide, it’s the No. 1 complaint reported to nursing home advocates.
“She was treated like a piece of garbage, with no value,” Linda Taylor says of Emrick.
She manages Emrick’s personal physician’s office. Taylor and Dr. Michael Wasserman have been helping Emrick, including getting her to a new nursing home.
“She’s a person who needs to have some sort of medical facility,” Wasserman says. “She needs supervision.”
No one would talk at Kensington Place. They did, however, talk to the Illinois Department of Public Health. The nursing home admitted taking her to the shelter but claims it was after 9 a.m. and she had medication and was taken inside to make sure she was safe.
Emrick disputes all that.
Kensington Place says Emrick owed more than $7,000. She says she gave someone cash and police are investigating.
State regulators say Kensington was cited for how they handled Emrick’s discharge. The facility was also cited earlier this year for a different improper discharge case.
In Illinois, this year, about 1,000 patient dumping cases will be investigated.