The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has initiated action to revoke the license of Colonial Healthcare in Placer County Dr. Mark Horton, director of CDPH, announced today.
An administrative hearing on the revocation of the facility’s license for violations of state law began February 9, 2009. The facility received an “AA” citation and a $100,000 fine, the most severe penalty and highest fine under state law on January 16, 2009. The “AA” citation is the third issued to the facility since 2005. Under state Health and Safety Code section 1424.5, two “AA” citations in less than 24 months triggers automatic action by CDPH to begin revocation of a facility’s license.
Colonial Healthcare has appealed the intended revocation. An administrative hearing is underway to determine if the license will be revoked.
Colonial’s most recent “AA” citation and fine were imposed after an investigation by the CDPH concluded that inadequate care led to the death of a resident. (See the investigative report.) The facility failed to administer medications as ordered by the resident’s physician, consult the physician when there was a change in the resident’s condition, and transfer the resident to an acute care hospital.
In addition to the three “AA” citations, Colonial Healthcare also has received one “A” citation and eleven “B” citations for poor quality of care since 2005.
California has the statutory authority to impose fines against nursing facilities it licenses as part of enforcement remedies for poor care. State citations that require a monetary penalty are categorized as Class B, A or AA. The associated fines range from $100 to $1,000 for Class B, $2,000 to $20,000 for Class A and $25,000 to $100,000 for Class AA. The citation class and amount of the fine depend upon the significance and severity of the substantiated violation, as prescribed and defined in California law.
All nursing facilities in California are required to comply with applicable state and federal laws and regulations governing health care facilities. Facilities are required to comply with these standards to ensure quality of care.
By providing nursing facilities it licenses with consequences for substantiated violations, CDPH strives to protect the health and safety of vulnerable individuals. The citation process is part of CDPH’s ongoing enforcement efforts in improving the quality of care provided to residents of the state’s approximately 1,400 skilled nursing facilities.