Hospitals dinged for lapses

12 state hospitals fined a total of $785,000 for violations

An investigation has exposed 12 California hospitals for violations that caused, or were likely to cause, death or serious injury to patients.

The California Department of Public Health levied a total of $785,000 in fines for noncompliance with licensing requirements ranging from not following manufacturer’s instructions for using a particular medical device to a patient having to undergo a second surgery to remove a retained foreign object. The penalized hospitals include four Kaiser Foundation hospitals, the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, and Sutter Coast Hospital in Crescent City. See for a complete list.

As of Jan. 1, 2009, all administrative penalties include heavier fines—a first violation costs $50,000, while a second carries a $75,000 fine. All penalties thereafter are subject to a $100,000 fine.