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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    Default Can a Doctor Threaten a 5250 Hold

    A child in California was taken to a mental health facility after she was caught shoplifting and swallowed a bunch of pills. She is there on a 5150 hold.

    Her mother does not want to pay the mental hospital's bills. She paid for the first three days, but has told the hospital that she is not going to pay more. They want the child to stay for six or seven days, and the mother wants her to come home.

    The doctor responded by indicating that if the mother does not pay for the child's care he will seek a 5250 hold and could keep the daughter in care for up to fourteen days.

    Is it legal for the doctor to make that threat?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Can a Doctor Threaten a 5250 Hold

    It's not unlawful for the doctor to say that he will seek a 5250 hold. If it's not appropriate, his petition can be opposed.

    It sounds like he's trying to ensure that the hospital is in a position to collect payment for the care, whether from the parents' insurance or from the parents directly.

    His statements as reported here do not suggest an improper motive or which to hold the child beyond what he believes to be necessary. He instead appears to be describing how he can get authority to extend the child's stay if mom won't authorize and pay for the stay.

    Mom could consider finding a different mental health facility and transferring her child; but I can't promise that she'll find one that will simply accept and discharge the child, or that won't agree that more inpatient treatment is medically necessary.

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