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CA Sitting on Millions in Hospital Fines

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, August 7, 2014

It's unclear when or whether the rest ever will be.

The three unfinished contracts were signed with the University of California at Davis years ago for specific improvement projects.

They include an $825,346 contract with Ken Kizer, MD, director of the UCD Institute for Population Heath, to "identify factors associated with preventable adverse surgical events," like forgotten surgical tools, fires or wrong site surgeries. That contract was announced in 2010, began in January, 2012 and expires this December, but Kizer is hoping for an extension.

Kizer, former director of the National Quality Forum and former director of the California Department of Health Services, says unanticipated roadblocks imposed by the state have prevented his surgical adverse event project from amassing enough data for completion.

First, it took several years to get the state to write and sign the contract and get the Legislature to approve the funds.


$9.25M in Fines for Medical Errors Goes Largely Unspent in CA


Then, after those funds were approved more than two years ago, some of the state's licensing and certification divisions were reluctant to share documents describing the details underlying "the many hundreds" of adverse surgical events that he's trying to quantify, Kizer says. That's the information he needs to get enough data to finish the job.

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1 comments on "CA Sitting on Millions in Hospital Fines"


Wm. Rosenfeld (8/8/2014 at 9:07 AM)
Cheryl Clark's reporting, as usual,is thought provoking and deals with a critical issue; although I'm not certain that she knows what she would do if she were running a hospital. Ken Kizer's contribution to quality and patient safety is unmatched. However, the medical-industrial complex is an overpowering force.