$825,000 in fines for California hospitals

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

June 6, 2012

The state of California recently issued immediate jeopardy penalties totalizing $825,000 to 13 hospitals, with the goal of improving the quality of healthcare throughout all California hospitals. Since the enactment of several laws in 2007, 129 hospitals have received 224 penalties totaling $7.7 million in fines. Under current laws, California hospitals received a $50,000 fine for the first violation, $75,000 for the second violation, and $100,000 for the third and any subsequent violations at the same facility. One hospital, Southwest Medical Center in Murrieta, has received eight penalties.

Several of the most recent penalties issued stemmed from incidents of retained foreign objects such as towels and sponges, which account for 26% of all immediate jeopardy penalties against California hospitals. Other common reasons for penalties are medication errors (24%), patient safety issues (17.8%), and patient care issues (17.4%).

Source: HealthLeaders Media