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CDPH Issues Penalties to Nine Hospitals 

Date: 10/24/2013 

Number: 13-049 

Contact: Anita Gore, Heather Bourbeau (916) 440-7259 

SACRAMENTO 

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued ten penalties today to nine California hospitals along with fines totaling $775,000 after investigations found the facilities’ noncompliance with licensing requirements caused, or was likely to cause, serious injury or death to patients.

The following hospitals received penalties, please click on the link below for specific incident information:  

Alvarado Hospital Medical Center, San Diego, San Diego County: The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when it did not follow established policies and procedures regarding fall prevention. The penalty is $50,000. This is the hospital’s first administrative penalty.

Antelope Valley Hospital, Lancaster, Los Angeles County: The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when it did not follow surgical policies and procedures. This resulted in a patient having to undergo a second surgery to remove a retained foreign object. The penalty is $50,000. This is the hospital’s first administrative penalty.

Community Regional Medical Center, Fresno, Fresno County: The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when it did not follow established policies and procedures related to cardiovascular surgery services. The penalty is $75,000. This is the hospital’s second administrative penalty.

Community Regional Medical Center, Fresno, Fresno County: The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when it did not follow established policies and procedures related to medical staff rules and regulations. The penalty is $100,000. This is the hospital’s third administrative penalty.

LAC/Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, Los Angeles County: The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when it did not follow established policies and procedures relating to patient monitoring and intervention. The penalty is $50,000. This is the hospital’s fifth administrative penalty. 

Mercy Medical Center, Merced, Merced County: The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when it did not follow established policies and procedures related to patient care. The penalty is $50,000. This is the hospital’s first administrative penalty.

Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center, Mission Viejo, Orange County: The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when it did not follow established policies and procedures related to central line catheters. The penalty is $100,000. This is the hospital’s seventh administrative penalty.

Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, San Jose, Santa Clara County: The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when it did not follow established policies and procedures for safe distribution and administration of medication. The penalty is $100,000. This is the hospital’s fourth administrative penalty. 

Sharp Memorial Hospital, San Diego, San Diego County: The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when it did not follow surgical policies and procedures. The penalty is $100,000. This is the hospital’s fourth administrative penalty.

St. Jude Medical Center, Fullerton, Orange County: The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when it did not follow established policies and procedures regarding fall prevention. The penalty is $100,000. This is the hospital’s sixth administrative penalty. 

Administrative penalties are issued under authority granted by Health and Safety Code section 1280.1. Incidents that occurred prior to 2009 carry a fine of $25,000. On January 1, 2009, the fines increased for incidents that occurred in 2009 or later. Under this provision, an administrative penalty carries a fine of $50,000 for the first violation, $75,000 for the second, and $100,000 for the third or subsequent violation by the licensee. To date, the department has issued 295 administrative penalties including those issued today. The most common reason for an administrative penalty is a retained foreign object after surgery (25 percent), patient care issues (22 percent) and medication errors (20 percent). 

When hospitals receive their survey findings, they are required to provide CDPH with a plan of correction to prevent future incidents. Hospitals can appeal an administrative penalty by requesting a hearing within ten calendar days of notification. If a hearing is requested and the penalty upheld following an appeal, the penalties must be paid.

All hospitals in California are required to be in compliance with applicable state and federal laws and regulations governing general acute care hospitals, acute psychiatric hospitals, and special hospitals. The hospitals are required to comply with these standards to ensure quality of care.

 

 
 
Last modified on: 10/24/2013 9:33 AM