California Department Of Public Health Cites Casa Bonita Convalescent Hospital In Death Of Resident

January 21, 2009 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment

Casa Bonita Convalescent Hospital in Los Angeles County has received three citations and fines totaling $121,000 from the State of California after an investigation by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) concluded that poor care of a resident led to the resident’s death, CDPH Director Dr. Mark Horton announced today.

The resident, who was ventilator dependent, died after becoming disconnected from the ventilator. The ventilator’s remote alarm did not alert staff because it had been turned off.

Casa Bonita was issued an “AA” citation and $100,000 fine, the most severe penalty that a nursing home can receive under state law, because the facility failed to have a system in place to prevent the resident from becoming disconnected from a ventilator and failed to monitor the remote alarm to ensure that it was turned on after care was provided.

Casa Bonita was issued an “A” citation and $20,000 fine because the facility failed to follow the plan of care by checking the frequency alarms and monitoring the remote alarm on the ventilator.

Casa Bonita was issued a “B” citation and a $1,000 fine because the facility failed to implement staff development policies for the sub-acute unit regarding new employee orientation, completing employee orientation checklists and ventilator education and certification.

All nursing facilities in California are required to be in compliance with applicable state and federal laws and regulations governing health care facilities to ensure a quality of care.

California has the statutory authority to impose fines against nursing facilities it licenses as a tool in its arsenal of enforcement remedies for poor care. The “AA” citation process is part of CDPH’s ongoing enforcement efforts to improve the quality of care provided to residents of the state’s approximately 1,400 skilled nursing facilities.

State citations that require a civil monetary penalty be imposed are categorized as Class B, A or AA. The associated fines range from $100 to $1,000 for Class B, $2,000 to 20,000 for Class A and $25,000 to $100,000 for Class AA. The citation class and amount of the fine depend upon the significance and severity of the substantiated violation, as prescribed and defined in California law. By providing nursing facilities it licenses with consequences for substantiated violations, CDPH strives to protect the health and safety of vulnerable individuals.




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