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Kaiser to auction former patient's home to pay bill

By Nancy Isles Nation

Contra Costa Times

Article Launched:10/08/2007 01:58:12 PM PDT

The house of a woman who refused to leave her hospital bed at Kaiser Permanente for more than a year will be auctioned by the Marin County sheriff's office Tuesday.
If the home at 77 Alder Ave. in San Anselmo sells, the proceeds will be used to cover the bill for a 14-month hospital stay by former resident Sarah Nome, who now lives at the Lafayette Convalescent Hospital .
The cost to Kaiser was $1.4 million based on the $3,200 per-day price for the hospital bed, according to a court ruling.
Kaiser has not determined the value of the house because officials have not had access to the property, but it is believed to be in substantial disrepair.
Attorney Peter Flaxman, who represented Kaiser, said the home would need remodeling and expansion.
Kaiser paid mortgage bills to prevent lenders from foreclosing while legal proceedings were continuing.
"It's absorbed an enormous amount of legal expenses and staff time," Flaxman said.
Kaiser was awarded the property after Nome, 84, was evicted from the hospital and placed in the conservatorship of the Marin County public guardian in April 2005.
She had refused to leave her bed for more than 14 months, maintaining that she could not leave Kaiser because she could not walk.
She said she believed Kaiser was responsible for finding an appropriate care facility for her and asked to remain in Marin.
Nome was transferred to Lafayette Convalescent Hospital in Contra Costa County after a Marin County judge placed her under the county's care.
A longtime San Anselmo resident, Nome was known in city halls across the county as a contentious tax fighter who made many demands on government officials in what she said was the public's interest.
She was a frequent critic of San Anselmo city affairs.

Read more San Anselmo stories at the IJ's San Anselmo page.

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