CA Sitting on Millions in Hospital Fines
Most of these incidents may not have risen to a state determination of immediate jeopardy, worthy of a financial penalty, but they were serious nevertheless and may have caused patient harm.
The other two projects are also taking a long time:
- A $3.659 million contract to reduce medication events and provide infection prevention expertise by onsite visits to acute care hospitals to evaluate quality of data and patient care practices for the prevention of healthcare-associated infections.
- A $149,780 contract to use a large state cost and utilization database, the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, to find adverse events that hospitals didn't report as required by law.
The project that has been completed is the creation of the
California Healthcare Event and Reporting Tool (CalHEART) Project – an information exchange portal for reporting adverse events, breaches, and healthcare Associated Infections by healthcare facilities. $911,347.
I requested an explanation for the lag in these three projects from state health officials, but they have not yet responded. One of the other contract recipients, Patrick Romano, MD, could not be reached for comment.
Nor did the state respond to my question about why it hasn't allocated the remaining $10 million it has collected or expects to receive from these immediate jeopardy penalties to date. The money must first be appropriated by the state Legislature, which apparently take its time.
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