DPH Fines California Health Facilities More Than $900K
The California Department of Public Health has fined eight facilities hundreds of thousands of dollars for breaching state patient privacy and confidentiality laws, Payers & Providers reports.
Details of Penalties
DPH fined the facilities a total of more than $900,000. Individual penalties ranged from $2,500 to $250,000.
The penalized facilities included:
- Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz, which was fined $247,600 for a 2013 incident in which a nurse persuaded a coworker to look up specific logs of patients and hospital officials failed to report the incident within five days of its discovery;
- Los Angeles County-Harbor UCLA Medical Center, which was fined $250,000 for a 2012 incident in which an employee had either discarded or hidden in her workspace the medical records of 246 patients, and the records were later uncovered by transit workers in a bus stop trashcan;
- Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital in Palo Alto, which was fined $250,000 for a 2012 incident in which a physician lost an unencrypted flash drive containing the data of 45 patients;
- Planned Parenthood Napa Center, which was fined $2,500 for a 2012 incident in which a receptionist viewed the results of a patient's pregnancy test and notified a family member of the patient about the results;
- Planned Parenthood of the North Valley, which was fined $2,500 for a 2011 incident in which an employee looked up the records of a woman who had previously dated her boyfriend and sent the patient anonymous text messages about the medical record;
- Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa, which was fined $77,500 for a 2011 incident in which five employees looked up the medical record of another hospital worker who was admitted to the intensive care unit;
- San Francisco General Hospital, which was fined $25,000 for a 2012 incident in which an employee used patient records to obtain the address of a former boyfriend and deliver court papers; and
- Stanford Hospital & Clinics, which was fined $50,000 for a 2013 incident in which a physician writing a textbook accidentally sent to his publisher two images that contained patient names and diagnoses (Shinkman, Payers & Providers, 10/8).