State Health Officials Fine Hospitals for Patient Care Mishaps
On Thursday, California health officials fined nine hospitals for incidents that jeopardized patient safety and care, the Los Angeles Times reports. The penalties mark the first time the state has fined hospitals under a law that went into effect Jan. 1.
Each fine was $25,000, the maximum penalty under the first phase of the law. The fines can reach $50,000 as the law is phased in.
Hospitals have 10 days to appeal the penalties.
Kathleen Billingsley, deputy director of the Center for HealthCare Quality at the Department of Public Health, said the fines cause "a sense of immediacy and responsiveness on the part of the provider to correct or modify the processes that have led to these quality problems."
The nine hospitals that received fines were:
- Enloe Medical Center in Chico;
- Feather River Hospital in Paradise;
- Garden Grove Hospital and Medical Center;
- Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center;
- Hanford Community Medical Center;
- Kaiser Foundation Hospital Santa Clara;
- Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital;
- St. Agnes Medical Center in Fresno; and
- Universal Health Services of Rancho Springs in Murietta.
King-Harbor and Feather River each were fined for two separate violations (Engel, Los Angeles Times, 10/26). 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.