12 California hospitals fined by state health officials

The California Department of Public Health this week fined 12 hospitals a total of $775,000 after investigations determined that the hospitals caused — or were likely to cause — death or serious injury to patients.

Two of seven patient deaths occurred at Seton Medical Center in Daly City and Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula.

At Seton Medical Center, which was fined $50,000, investigators found that the hospital in 2012 did not follow established policies and procedures regarding the safety of an elderly female patient who fell in a hospital shower and later died.

At Community Hospital, also fined $50,000, investigators found that the hospital in 2013 used a wrong intravenous drug, without a doctor’s order, on an elective heart surgery patient. She died 11 days after her procedure.

Hospitals fined for the five other deaths included the deaths of a pregnant woman and her unborn child at Glenn Medical Center in Willows, fined $50,000; Mercy Medical Center in Merced, fined $100,000; Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, fined $75,000; and Scripps Mercy Hospital in Chula Vista, fined $50,000.

Other hospitals penalized were California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, fined $75,000; Desert Valley Hospital in Victorville, fined $50,000; Kaiser Foundation Hospital in San Diego, fined $75,000; Marin General Hospital in Greenbrae, fined $100,000; Redlands Community Hospital in Redlands, fined $50,000; and San Diego County Psychiatric Hospital in San Diego, fined $50,000.

State public health officials say any incidents that occurred after 2009 carry 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.

After April 1, 2014, newly adopted regulations allow the health department to impose a maximum $75,000 for the first penalty, up to $100,000 for the second, and up to $125,000 for the third and every subsequent violation within three years.

When hospitals receive their survey findings, they are required to provide the state with a plan of correction to prevent future incidents.

Hospitals can appeal by requesting a hearing within 10 calendar days of notification. But if the penalty is upheld following an appeal, the fines must be paid.

The following two tabs change content below.

Meredith Little

World News Journalist from Dublin, Ireland. Meredith has been with the Pluto Daily since October of 2013.