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CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUES $100,000 FINE TO AVIARA HEALTHCARE CENTER IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY 

Date: 6/22/2009 

Number: NR2009-64 

Contact: Al Lundeen - (916) 440-7259 

SACRAMENTO 

Aviara Healthcare Center in Encinitas received an “AA” citation, the most severe penalty under state law, and a $100,000 fine, the highest fine under state law, after an investigation concluded that the failure to maintain a hazard-free facility resulting in a patient death, announced Dr. Mark Horton, director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

The facility created a hazard by improperly storing a large mechanical patient lift in a hallway. A patient grabbed the lift during a fall, tipping it over. The resulting injuries led to the patient’s death.

All nursing facilities in California are required to be in compliance 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.

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 civil monetary penalty be imposed 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.

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.

 
 
Last modified on: 6/23/2009 4:20 PM