U of California facility placed under state supervision

Citing its anesthesiology department's "inability to provide quality healthcare in a safe environment," the University of California, Irvine Medical Center has been placed under state supervision. Among the problems cited by CMS inspectors was the egregious practice of filling out medical records before a procedure was done in order to suggest certain outcomes were achieved.

CMS has accepted Irvine Medical Center's correction plan, but could still yank its certification if it doesn't clean up its act. The facility will remain under the state's oversight until a second inspection confirms that the required corrections have been made.

The inspection, which was prompted by a whistleblower complaint, listed problems dating back at least three years, including inadequate equipment checks and staffing and poor record-keeping. This follows a 2003 letter to the leadership by 26 professors, who argued that the school was putting financial goals over academic goals.

Since the original whistleblower complaint, the school has hired six new faculty members, bought more than $4 million in operating room equipment and monitors, and installed a new anesthesia information monitoring system that won't allow records to be filled out in advance.

To learn more about this controversy:
- read this Los Angeles Times piece

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