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Calif. hospitals fined for hospital privacy

November 19, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Seven California hospitals, two from the southern region, have been slapped with fines totaling nearly $800,000 by the Department of Public Health for violating patient privacy rules. Pacific Hospital of Long Beach was fined $225,000 after an employee accessed patient medical information and then allegedly used it to create fraudulent accounts with Verizon.

Children's Hospital of Orange County was also fined $25,000 after an employee accessed the medical records of a co-worker's child without authorization.

Stolen records contained personal information, which included Social Security numbers and medical test results. Patients who could have been affected were all notified.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the law governing privacy fines in health facilities in 2008 when his wife and other celebrities' records were stolen at UCLA Medical Center.

Other fines issued Friday:

  • $125,000: Kaweah Manor Convalescent Hospital in Tulare County after an employee accessed and used the medical information of five patients.

  • $60,000: Delano Regional Medical Center in Kern County after one patient's medical information was disclosed by an employee on three occasions.
  • $42,500: Oroville Hospital in Butte County after one patient's medical information was disclosed by an employee on two occasions.
  • $25,000: Children's Hospital of Orange in Orange County after one patient's medical information was accessed by one employee.
  • $5,000: Biggs Gridley Memorial Hospital in Butte County after two employees accessed a patient's information on three occasions.

The smaller, rural hospital negotiated the smaller fine.

The Associated Press Contributed to this report.


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