In a recent article published in the Los Angeles Business Journal, medical industry reporter Marni Usheroff detailed the penalties placed on several California hospitals for compliance violations, amounting to more than $700,000 in total fines. After several long investigations supported by governmental resources, it was determined that many of the hospitals had repeated violations in regards to patient care and medication administration. The compliance violations appear to be founded, with little interest in appeal from the hospitals.
The penalties come during what has been an increased enforcement acuity period for California, as more and more facilities are under investigation for compliance violations. As part of a much larger trend in the industry, governmental agencies are now more willing to significantly invest in enforcement matters that will most likely result in “sure things” and “big wins.” The hospitals were seen as big targets, as they had repeated violations and had violations that directly concerned physical harm to patients.
It's clear that California’s Department of Public Health (CDPH) is sending a strong message to healthcare providers: It is now “hunting season” for compliance violations – and the penalties are only going to get bigger. The industry’s advice for hospital managers – or really any heathcare provider – is to invest appropriate resources into compliance activities and prevention, rather than just becoming “sitting ducks” for governmental representatives.
Read the full article here.