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Consumer Group Calls For State To Audit Hospitals That Commit Frequent Medical Mistakes

Consumer Group Calls For State To Audit Hospitals That Commit Frequent Medical Mistakes
A prominent consumer group wants California regulators to audit ten hospitals that have been fined multiple times for lapses in safety, including UC San Diego Medical Center.

The California Department of Public Health periodically fines hospitals for serious medical errors that caused serious injury or death.

The nonprofit Consumer Watchdog says the penalties aren't stiff enough. It wants the state to audit repeat offenders.

Of the 10 hospitals penalized in the most recent round of fines, six have had multiple violations. For instance, UC San Diego Medical Center has been fined six times in the last seven years.

The hospital was most recently given a $100,000 fine for losing track of a hospital patient. The man was later found dead in a local canyon.

Hospital officials said they’ve taken steps to correct the problem.

But Carmen Balber, with the nonprofit, said that’s not good enough.

“Nobody is checking six months down the road, a year down the road, to make sure the hospital’s sticking with those procedures," Balber said. "And that leaves us in the situation where those problems can happen again.”

California law requires hospitals to report serious medical errors to state regulators.

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