California Hospitals Racked Up Fines for Failing To Report Errors
California regulators have fined hospitals more than $1 million for failing to report serious medical errors in a timely manner, according to data obtained by California Watch, a project of the Center for Investigative Reporting, NPR's "Shots" reports.
California Watch obtained the information from the California Department of Public Health (Weaver, "Shots," NPR, 4/12).Â
Under a 2006 California law (SB 1301), hospitals must report incidents within 45 days or face a $100 penalty for each day beyondÂ the deadline.
The California Watch investigation found that the state has issued more than 260 fines since the law's enactment (Jewett, California Watch Blog, 4/12).
The investigation also found that regulators issued the most fines for failures to report serious bed sores, followed by fines for leaving surgical equipment inside a patient ("Shots," NPR, 4/12).
Since 2007, hospitals have appealed 22 of the fines for failing to report medical errors.
California has so far collected $830,000 of the $1 million it issued in penalties (California Watch Blog, 4/12).
Further Error Reporting
California Watch only examined patient safety incidents that were not reported within the 45-day window. The state already publicizes information on hospital errors that are reported on time.
California regulators do not plan to publish a full report on all hospital incidents until 2015 ("Shots," NPR, 4/12).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.