California fines 10 hospitals a total of $625K for patient safety risks

California issued penalties against 10 hospitals with fines totaling $625,000 for not complying with requirements that prevent patient safety risks, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) reported Thursday.

California Pacific Medical Center made the list twice for retained foreign objects, with St. Luke's Campus Hospital and Pacific Campus Hospital facing a $50,000 and $100,000 fine, respectively.

Similarly, Simi Valley Hospital & Health Care Services and Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital both received a $50,000 fine for retained foreign objects.

Several hospitals in the state also face penalties for medication errors. For instance, Fallbrook Hospital District received its first penalty, a $25,000 fine, for injecting a newborn patient with a medication ordered and intended for the newborn's mother.

Tri-City Medical Center, which now has three administrative penalties for safety violations, was hit with a $75,000 fine for an unsafe transfer that resulted in a patient fall, according to the CDPH.

It hasn't been a good week for Tri-City. The medical center made headlines last week after CEO Larry Anderson was sued by the hospital's former senior vice president of legal affairs and chief compliance officer for allegedly firing and discriminating against employees who requested time off for medical leave, U-T San Diego reported.

Steven Daniel Stein filed the multimillion dollar federal lawsuit in October, and received a small victory last week when a federal judge denied Tri-City's motion to dismiss Stein's claim that he was fired in fear of whistleblowing.

To learn more:
- CDPH announcement
- read the U-T San Diego article