What is it?

Prompted by stories of “patient dumping,” California enacted Senate Bill (SB) 1152, which mandates that hospitals offer patients experiencing homelessness (PEH) a set of resources at discharge to ensure safety and prevent dumping. (excerpt from The Milbank Quarterly | A Multidisciplinary Journal of Population Health and Health Policy)

Link to the bill

Policy Points:

  • Clarifications to Senate Bill (SB) 1152 are necessary to address the differences between inpatient and emergency department (ED) discharge processes, determine how frequently an ED must deliver the SB 1152 bundle of services to a single patient, and establish expectations for compliance during off-hours when social services are unavailable.
  • Because homelessness cannot be resolved in a single ED visit, the state should provide funding to support housing-focused case workers that will follow patients experiencing homelessness (PEH) through the transition from temporary shelters to permanent supportive housing. Medi-Cal could fund the delivery of the SB 1152 bundle of services to defray the costs to public hospitals that provide care for high numbers of PEH.
  • California legislators should consider complementary legislation to increase funding for shelters so that sufficient capacity is available to accept PEH from EDs and hospitals, and to fund alternative strategies to prevent poverty and the upstream root causes of homelessness itself.

Understand SB 1152 and regional variations



California Legislative Information

SB-1152 Hospital patient discharge process: homeless patients. (2017-2018)
Mandates for Discharging Homeless Patients Take Effect in California
California Department of Public Health -PDF

What You Can Do