Calif. Hospital Fined $100,000+ for Health, Safety Violations

OAKLAND, Calif.
Published: April 21, 2010

Alta Bates Sutter Medical Center was fined more than $100,000 by California regulators who say the hospital failed to report and prevent the spread of meningitis.

Oakland police and fire departments also were cited for failing to notify and protect the staff who helped take the patient to the hospital, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health said the hospital, which was fined $101,485, violated 10 health and safety regulations for failing to immediately alert public authorities and protect staff when an infected patient appeared Dec. 3, 2009.

Cal/OSHA officials issued the fines as a result of a law that made California the first state to set strict rules for reporting contagious airborne diseases, such as meningitis, H1N1 and measles.

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The hospital has 15 days to appeal the fine and is entitled to a hearing. Officials for the hospital said an appeal is in the works, and that a performance improvement action plan was developed to prevent such an incident from happening again.

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