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California officials fine 13 hospitals for medical errors.

Posted by Frank Spector | Jan 28, 2010 | 0 Comments

The Los Angeles Times (1/28, Hennessy-Fiske) reports, “State officials have fined 13 California hospitals for medical errors that in some cases killed or seriously injured patients, according to a report made public Wednesday.” The hospitals are also required “to submit plans to correct the problems.”

The AP (1/28) reports that the hospitals can appeal the penalties, “which were each $25,000 or more,” within 10 days. According to Kathleen Billingsly, the deputy director for the State Center for Healthcare Quality, medication errors account for over 30 percent of administrative penalties. Meanwhile, “the second most common violation is when sponges or surgical tools are left inside patients, occurring in 18.6 percent of administrative penalties.”

The Contra Costa Times (1/28, Evans) reports, “The California Department of Public Health began issuing fines for serious medical errors in 2007 to keep hospitals accountable, state officials said.” According to the San Francisco Chronicle (1/27, Colliver), “the state has issued 134 penalties to 90 hospitals and assessed more than $3 million in fines since 2007.” The fines were increased under “a subsequent law…from $25,000 to $50,000” for first violations.

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Frank Spector

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