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December 20, 2011 > Penalties assessed against some California Hospitals

Penalties assessed against some California Hospitals

Submitted By Anita Gore

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced on December 8 that 14 California hospitals have been assessed administrative penalties after it was determined the facilities' noncompliance with licensing requirements caused, or was likely to cause, serious injury or death to patients.

The following hospitals received penalties:

Fresno Surgical Hospital, Fresno, Fresno County: The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when the hospital did not follow its surgical policies and procedures. This resulted in a patient having to undergo a second surgery to remove a retained foreign object. This is the first administrative penalty issued to this hospital. The penalty is $50,000.

Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, Valencia, Los Angeles County: The hospital failed to implement policies and procedures for the safe administration of medication. This is the first administrative penalty issued to this hospital. The penalty is $50,000.

Kaiser Foundation Hospital - South San Francisco, South San Francisco, San Mateo County: The hospital failed to implement its established policies and procedures for the safe and effective administration of medication. This is the first administrative penalty issued to this hospital. The penalty is $50,000.

LAC+USC Medical Center, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County: The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when the hospital did not follow its surgical policies and procedures. This resulted in a patient having to undergo a second surgery to remove a retained foreign object. This is the fifth administrative penalty issued to this facility. The penalty is $25,000.

Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford, Palo Alto, Santa Clara County: The hospital failed to implement policies and procedures for the safe administration of medication. This is the second administrative penalty issued to this facility. The penalty is $50,000.

Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center, Mission Viejo, Orange County: The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when the hospital did not follow its surgical policies and procedures. This resulted in a patient having to undergo a second surgery to remove a retained foreign object. This is the fourth administrative penalty issued to this facility. The penalty is $100,000.

1. San Francisco General Hospital, San Francisco, San Francisco County: The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when the hospital did not follow its surgical policies and procedures. This is the second administrative penalty issued to this facility. The penalty is $50,000.

2. Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara County: The hospital failed to develop and implement safety measures which ensure the protection of a patient. This is the first administrative penalty issued to this hospital. The penalty is $50,000.

3. Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, La Jolla, San Diego County: The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when the hospital did not follow its surgical policies and procedures. This resulted in a patient having to undergo a second surgery to remove a retained foreign object. This is the sixth administrative penalty issued to this facility. The penalty is $100,000.

4. St. Jude Medical Center, Fullerton, Orange County: The hospital failed to implement policies and procedures for the safe administration of medication. This is the third administrative penalty issued to this facility. The penalty is $75,000.

5. Sutter Solano Medical Center, Vallejo, Solano County: The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when the hospital did not follow its surgical policies and procedures. This resulted in a patient having to undergo a second surgery to remove a retained foreign object. This is the first administrative penalty issued to this hospital. The penalty is $50,000.

6. Torrance Memorial Medical Center, Torrance, Los Angeles County: The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when the hospital did not follow its surgical policies and procedures. This resulted in a patient having to undergo a second surgery to remove a retained foreign object. This is the second administrative penalty issued to this facility. The penalty is $75,000.

7. UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco, San Francisco County: The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when the hospital did not follow its surgical policies and procedures. This is the sixth administrative penalty issued to this facility. The penalty is $75,000.

8. Ventura County Medical Center, Ventura, Ventura County: The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when the hospital did not follow its surgical policies and procedures. This resulted in a patient having to undergo a second surgery to remove a retained foreign object. This is the second administrative penalty issued to this facility. The penalty is $50,000.

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. New legislation took effect January 1, 2009, that increased fines for incidents that occurred in 2009 or later. Under the new provisions, 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. Incidents that occurred prior to 2009 are not counted in determining the amount of a fine.

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 (10) calendar days of notification. If a hearing is requested, the penalties must be paid if upheld following an appeal.

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.

www.cdph.ca.gov

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