Hospitals in California were issued with 17 penalties by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) on April 20. The penalties issued under Health and Safety Code 1280.1 resulted in combined fines of over $1 million.

CDPH Investigations

Several hospitals in California are facing a combined fine of over $1 million after CDPH investigations revealed that the hospitals in question were not complying with licensing requirements, and have caused, or were likely to cause serious injuries to their patients or even death.

The incidents that prompted the investigation and penalization were incidents that were reported between the years of 2012 and 2016.

For instance, Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City was fined $47,452.50 after wrongfully removing a patient's ovaries when the procedure was entered incorrectly in the hospital's surgery log. Because of the incident, the patient now requires lifelong estrogen replacement therapy.

Deaths also resulted in some of the hospitals' errors, such as two of the three cases of administering incorrect treatments to patients in Queen of the Valley Hospital in 2013. The third patient is left in vegetative state.

Kaiser Foundation Hospital was also fined a total of $147,025 regarding two incidences in 2015 and 2016 that both led to the deaths of their patients. Those two incidences were Kaiser Foundation Hospital's fourth and fifth administrative penalties.

Also, California Pacific Medical Center-St. Luke's Campus Hospital was penalized for the death of a patient who hit her head and died despite emergency brain surgery when the patient was not placed under the prescribed hourly neurological checks. St. Luke's was fined $47,452.50 for the incident, which is their second administrative penalty.

Other hospitals penalized for infractions are Aurora Vista Del Mar Hospital, Bakersfield Memorial Hospital, Community Memorial Hospital, Desert Regional Medical Center, Garden Grove Hospital and Medical Center, LAC/Harbor UCLA Medical Center, PIH Hospital, Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Sutter Davis Hospital, and White Memorial Medical Center.

Health And Safety Code 1280

The administrative penalties were granted under section 1280.1 of the Health and Safety Code. Regulations adopted in 2014 allows the CDPH to fine a hospital up to $75,000 for the first penalty, $100,000 for the second, and $125,000 for the third administrative penalty, as well as for every subsequent violations in the following three year period.

Hospitals penalized by the CDPH are required to provide their plan of correction to prevent similar future incidences. They can also appeal an administrative penalty by requesting for a hearing within 10 days after notification.

All hospitals in California are required to comply with applicable state and federal laws concerning them.

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