California Regulators Fine 13 Hospitals for Patient Care Violations
On Wednesday, the California Department of Public Health fined 13 hospitals $25,000 each for failing to meet state licensing rules, or causing harm or creating the potential to harm patients, the Los Angeles Times reports (Lin II, Los Angeles Times, 5/22).
Under a law that took effect in January 2007, state regulators have issued three rounds of administrative penalties as part of efforts to increase hospital accountability for patient care.
The maximum fine is $25,000, but state officials are writing regulations that would allow the fines to be set between $17,000 and $50,000 per incident, based on the severity of each case (Clark, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5/22).
This is the third round of citations since the law took effect. In total, DPH has cited 39 hospitals since October 2007 (Los Angeles Times, 5/22).
Kathleen Billingsley, deputy director of hospital licensing and certification, said hospitals that continually violate health rules can lose their license (Milbourn, Sacramento Bee, 5/22).
Hospitals can appeal the penalties by requesting a hearing within 10 days. The hospitals also are required to develop a correction plan to prevent similar incidents (Anderson, Los Angeles Daily News, 5/21).
The fines were issued to:
- Doctors Medical Center in San Pablo (Kleffman, Contra Costa Times, 5/21);
- Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz, a Catholic Healthcare West facility (San Diego Union-Tribune, 5/22);
- Garden Grove Hospital and Medical Center (Pak, Orange County Register, 5/21);
- Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance (Los Angeles Times, 5/22);
- Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital in Palo Alto (Krieger, San Jose Mercury News, 5/22);
- Olive View-UCLA Medical Center in Sylmar (Los Angeles Times, 5/22);
- Pomona Valley Medical Center in Pomona;
- Santa Teresa Community Hospital in San Jose, a Kaiser Foundation Hospitals facility;
- Scripps Green Hospital;
- Scripps Memorial Hospital (San Diego Union-Tribune, 5/22);
- Sierra Vista Hospital in Sacramento (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 5/21);
- St. Joseph Hospital in Orange (Orange County Register, 5/21); and
- UC-San Diego Medical Center (San Diego Union-Tribune, 5/22).
KPBS' "KPBS News" on Wednesday reported on the fines. The segment includes comments from Don Stanziano, a spokesperson for Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla (Goldberg, "KPBS News," KPBS, 5/21).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.