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CDPH ISSUES ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTIES TO 11 HOSPITALS 

Date: 9/24/2009 

Number: 09-84 

Contact: Al Lundeen (916) 440-7259 

SACRAMENTO 

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced today that 11 California hospitals have been assessed administrative penalties of $25,000 per violation from the state of California after a determination that the facilities’ noncompliance with requirements of licensure has caused, or was likely to cause, serious injury or death to patients.

“Ensuring all Californians receive quality patient care is our top priority,” said Dr. Mark Horton, director of the California Department of Public Health.  “We will continue to work with California hospitals to ensure our shared goal of excellence in patient care.”

The following hospitals received penalties:

1. Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Berkeley, Alameda County. The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when the hospital did not follow its surgical policy and procedure.  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.

2. Coast Plaza Doctors Hospital, Norwalk, Los Angles County.   The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when the hospital did not follow its surgical policy and procedure.  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.

3. Kindred Hospital, Ontario, San Bernardino County.  The hospital failed to protect the health and safety of a patient when it failed to monitor the patient’s status and medical needs. This is the first administrative penalty issued to this hospital.

4. Loma Linda University Medical Center, INC, Loma Linda, San Bernardino County.  The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when the hospital did not follow its surgical policy and procedure. 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 hospital. The previous penalty was issued in 2008 for the administration of a potentially fatal medication overdose.

5. Los Angeles County/University of Southern California, 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 policy and procedure.  This resulted in a patient having to undergo a second surgery to remove a retained foreign object.  This is the third administrative penalty issued to this hospital. In 2008, a penalty was issued for the failure to provide adequate nurse staffing to meet the needs of a patient. Earlier this year, a penalty was issued for the failure to ensure the health and safety of a patient when the hospital did not follow its surgical policy and procedure. This resulted in a patient having to undergo a second surgery to remove a retained foreign object.

6. Mendocino Coast District Hospital, Fort Bragg, Mendocino County.  The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when the hospital had inappropriately trained staff providing nursing care. This is the hospital’s first administrative penalty.

7. Redwood Memorial Hospital, Fortuna, Humboldt County.  The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when the hospital did not follow its surgical policy and procedure. 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.

8. Saint John’s Hospital and Health Center, Santa Monica, Los Angeles County.  The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when the hospital did not follow its surgical services policies and procedure. This is the first administrative penalty issued to this hospital.

9. Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, Chula Vista, San Diego County.  The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when the hospital did not follow its surgical policy and procedure.  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.

10.  Tri-City Hospital District, Oceanside, San Diego County.  The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when the hospital did not follow its policies and procedures for fall prevention. This is the first administrative penalty issued to this hospital.

11.  USC University Hospital, Los Angeles,Los Angeles County. The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when laboratory test results were not communicated to other hospital personnel and providers. This is the first administrative penalty issued to this hospital. This penalty is being issued to the former licensee of the hospital, Tenet Healthsystem Hospital Inc. The hospital retained its name after a change of ownership in April 2009.

The administrative penalties were issued under authority granted by Health and Safety Code section 1280.1 which took effect January 1, 2007.

Last year, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation to significantly increase the fine for administrative penalties for violations or deficiencies constituting an immediate jeopardy to the health and safety of patients. The new law, which took effect Jan. 1, 2009, increases fines from $25,000 to $50,000 for the first violation. Incidents in this news release occurred in 2008, before the new law took effect.

Upon conclusion of the investigation by CDPH, the facility is required to immediately implement a plan of correction to prevent future incidents. Facilities can appeal an administrative penalty by requesting a hearing within 10 calendar days of notification. If a hearing is requested, the penalties are to be paid if upheld following appeal.

All hospitals in California are required to be in compliance with applicable state and federal laws and regulations governing general acute care hospitals. The hospitals are required to comply with these standards to ensure quality of care.

 
 
Last modified on: 9/24/2009 12:23 PM