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California Department of Public Health Issues Penalties to 8 Hospitals 

Date: 1/28/2016 
Number: 16-004 
Contact: Anita Gore, Orville Thomas - (916) 440-7259 

SACRAMENTO - The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued penalties today to eight California hospitals after investigations found the facilities’ noncompliance with licensing requirements caused, or was likely to cause, serious injury or death to patients. Fines for the penalties issued totaled $483,650.

The following hospitals received penalties. (Specific information is contained in the links below.)

1. Community Regional Medical Center, Fresno, Fresno County: The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when it did not follow surgical policies and procedures. The penalty is $86,625. This is the hospital’s fourth Immediate Jeopardy administrative penalty.

2. Kaiser Foundation Hospital - Fontana, Fontana, San Bernardino County: The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when it did not follow established policies and procedures regarding the safety of a patient. The penalty is $75,000. This is the hospital’s second Immediate Jeopardy administrative penalty.

3. Kaiser Foundation Hospital - Santa Rosa, Santa Rosa, Sonoma County: The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when it did not follow surgical policies and procedures. The penalty is $50,000. This is the hospital’s first Immediate Jeopardy administrative penalty.

4. San Joaquin General Hospital, French Camp, San Joaquin County: The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when it did not follow procedures for safe distribution and administration of medication. The penalty is $75,000. This is the hospital’s second Immediate Jeopardy administrative penalty.

5. Sonoma Valley Hospital, Sonoma, Sonoma County: The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when it did not follow surgical policies and procedures. The penalty is $50,000. This is the hospital’s first Immediate Jeopardy administrative penalty.

6. Twin Cities Community Hospital, Templeton, San Luis Obispo County: The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when it did not follow surgical policies and procedures. The penalty is $50,000. This is the hospital’s first Immediate Jeopardy administrative penalty.

7. Ventura County Medical Center, Ventura, Ventura County: The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when it did not follow established policies and procedures regarding the safety of a patient. The penalty is $50,000. This is the hospital’s third Immediate Jeopardy administrative penalty.

8. Vibra Hospital of San Diego, San Diego, San Diego County: The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when it did not follow established policies and procedures regarding the safety of a patient. The penalty is $47,025. This is the hospital’s first Immediate Jeopardy administrative penalty.

Administrative penalties are issued under authority granted by Health and Safety Code section 1280.1. Incidents that occurred prior to 2009 carry a fine of $25,000. On January 1, 2009, the fines increased for incidents that occurred in 2009 or later. Under this provision, an administrative penalty carries 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.

Newly adopted regulations allow CDPH to assess an administrative penalty for incidents occurring on or after April 1, 2014, against a specified licensee for a deficiency constituting an immediate jeopardy violation up to a maximum of $75,000 for the first administrative 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 CDPH with a plan of correction to prevent future incidents. Hospitals can appeal an administrative penalty by requesting a hearing within ten calendar days of notification. If a hearing is requested and the penalty upheld following an appeal, the penalties must be paid.

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