Bill Targeting Hospital Violence Approved by Committee

Published: March 23, 2011

CALIFORNIA — A legislative committee gave preliminary approval on Tuesday to a bill that would increase security at California hospitals and strengthen requirements for reporting violent acts. The bill would require hospitals to report all assaults and batteries on patients and hospital employees to authorities.

The bill was sponsored by Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi (D-Hayward) and the California Nurses Association, the Los Angeles Times reports. The piece of legislation follows the death of Cynthia Palomata, a nurse who was beaten to death by at a jail medical facility in Martinez last October.

The bill is opposed by the California Hospital Association, which warned that the legislation would put a large burden on hospitals without offering any definite benefits. Opponents say hospitals are already required to report violent acts to local police departments as well as the Division of Occupational Safety and Health and the state Department of Public Health.

Next, the bill will go to the Assembly appropriations committee.

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