Five Calif. hospitals accrue fines totaling $675K

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Five California hospitals have accrued a total amount of $675,000 in administrative penalties and fines by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) after a determination that the facilities failed to prevent unauthorized access to confidential patient medical information.

According to the Sacramento, Calif.-based CDPH, 245 patients’ medical records were improperly accessed by a total 32 employees. The following hospitals received penalties:

  • Community Hospital of San Bernardino, San Bernardino, San Bernardino County (penalized twice): $250,000 and $75,000;
  • Enloe Medical Center, Chico, Butte County: $130,000;
  • Rideout Memorial Hospital, Marysville, Yuba County: $100,000;
  • Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County: $95,000; and
  • San Joaquin Community Hospital, Bakersfield, Kern County: $25,000.

“Medical privacy is a fundamental right and a critical component of quality medical care in California,” said Mark Horton, MD, director of CDPH. “We are very concerned with violations of patient confidentiality and their potential harm to the residents of California.”

Facilities are required to submit a plan of correction to CDPH within 10 working days and implement a plan of correction to prevent future incidents.  Facilities can appeal an administrative penalty by requesting a hearing within 10 calendar days of notification, CDPH stated.