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State Enforcement Actions

SEA

For more serious violations, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) may take state enforcement actions that carry monetary consequences. These actions vary by facility type.

Immediate Jeopardy Administrative Penalties 

CDPH issues administrative penalties to hospitals under Health and Safety Code (HSC) section 1280.3 for situations of immediate jeopardy (cases involving a threat of imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm). Penalty amounts range from $25,000 for incidents occurring prior to 2009 to $125,000. See Hospital Administrative Penalties.

State Citations for Long-Term Care

HSC section 1417.1 allows for “prompt and effective civil sanctions” against skilled nursing facilities and other types of long-term care. CDPH issues “AA” level citations, which carry a penalty of $25,000 to $100,000, when it determines that a facility’s violation was a direct proximate cause of death of a patient or resident. The state may issue “A” or “B” level citations to long-term care facilities or providers for lesser violations. Class "A" citations carry fines of $2,000 to $20,000, and Class "B" citations carry fines of $100 to $2,000. See Long-Term Care Facility Citations.

Medical Breach Administrative Penalties

CDPH issues administrative penalties to facilities that breach patients’ confidential medical information under HSC section 1280.15. The maximum penalty is $250,000. See Breach of Confidential Patient Medical Information.

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