State health officials fine Southland hospitals for lapses in patient care

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A view of California Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles, Calif.

California public health officials have fined 13 hospitals for not complying with licensing requirements. Ten of the medical facilities are in the Southland.

The California Department of Public Health monitors the quality of care at hospitals. The agency also imposes penalties when medical facilities don’t comply with state and federal regulations.

Of the 16 hospitals fined, three were in Los Angeles County and three were in Orange County. Four fines against Riverside County’s John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital total $100,000.

The state agency’s director says it focused on lapses in patient care.

In response, executives at Orange County’s Hoag Hospital issued a statement that says its fine had to do with an incident it reported that involved a patient and a gurney. The two-paragraph e-mail also said that the hospital has conducted a full internal review, re-educated staff, and added additional measures to prevent repeat accidents.

State public health officials issued the penalties for incidents that occurred between 2008 and 2009.

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