Corporate Compliance

Twelve CA hospitals fined for failing to ensure health and safety of patients

Compliance Monitor, November 17, 2010

The California Department of Public Health announced that 12 California hospitals have been assessed 14 administrative penalties for failure to comply with licensing requirements that have caused, or were likely to cause, serious injury or death to patients.

The most common violation listed was “The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of its patients when it did not follow its surgical policies and procedures.” According to an article in HealthLeaders Media, those violations occurred when surgical teams left objects inside the patients.

The amount of fines, which are the toughest in the nation, varies depending on when the incident occurred and whether the hospital is a repeat offender. Incidents occurring in 2008 are subject to a $25,000 fine. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation that took effect January 1, 2009, that increased fines for incidents that occurred in 2009 or later as follows: $50,000 for the first violation,$75,000 for the second, and $100,000 for the third or subsequent violation at the same hospital.

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