Corporate Compliance

Fourteen CA hospitals fined for immediate jeopardy violations

Compliance Monitor, December 14, 2011

Fourteen California hospitals have been ordered to pay fines totaling $850,000 for medical errors involving immediate jeopardy to patients, state health officials said last week. Under California state laws, penalties are assessed at $25,000 if the incident occurred prior to 2009. For all incidents after 2009, the penalty raises to $50,000 for the first violation, $75,000 for the second, and $100,000 for the third or subsequent penalty.

Incidents include seven retained foreign objects, a morphine overdose which resulted in a patient's death; and the administration of "compromised" medications and vaccines, which were incorrectly refrigerated to freezing temperatures, to an estimated 5,000 patients.

Two of the hospitals that received these administrative penalties, Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla and Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center in Mission Viejo, received the maximum fine of $100,000, according to a HealthLeaders Media article published December 12. To date, Scripps has received six penalties while Mission has received four.

This article is adapted from an article that originally appeared on HealthLeaders Media.

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