(a) Subject to subdivision (d), prior to the effective date of regulations adopted to implement Section 1280.3, if a licensee of a health facility licensed under subdivision (a), (b), or (f) of Section 1250 receives a notice of deficiency constituting an immediate jeopardy to the health or safety of a patient and is required to submit a plan of correction, the department may assess the licensee an administrative penalty in an amount not to exceed twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) per violation.
(b) If the licensee disputes a determination by the department regarding the alleged deficiency or the alleged failure to correct a deficiency, or regarding the reasonableness of the proposed deadline for correction or the amount of the penalty, the licensee may, within 10 days, request a hearing pursuant to Section 131071. Penalties shall be paid when appeals have been exhausted and the department’s position has been upheld.
(c) For purposes of this section “immediate jeopardy” means a situation in which the licensee’s noncompliance with one or more requirements of licensure has caused, or is likely to cause, serious injury or death to the patient.
(d) This section shall apply only to incidents occurring on or after January 1, 2007. With respect to incidents occurring on or after January 1, 2009, the amount of the administrative penalties assessed under subdivision (a) shall be up to one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) per violation. With respect to incidents occurring on or after January 1, 2009, the amount of the administrative penalties assessed under subdivision (a) shall be up to fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) for the first administrative penalty, up to seventy-five thousand dollars ($75,000) for the second subsequent administrative penalty, and up to one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) for the third and every subsequent violation. An administrative penalty issued after three years from the date of the last issued immediate jeopardy violation shall be considered a first administrative penalty so long as the facility has not received additional immediate jeopardy violations and is found by the department to be in substantial compliance with all state and federal licensing laws and regulations. The department shall have full discretion to consider all factors when determining the amount of an administrative penalty pursuant to this section.
(e) No new regulations are required or authorized for implementation of this section.
(f) This section shall become inoperative on the effective date of regulations promulgated by the department pursuant to Section 1280.3.
(g) In enforcing this section, the department shall take into consideration the special circumstances of small and rural hospitals, as defined in Section 124840, in order to protect access to quality care in those hospitals.
(Amended by Stats. 2008, Ch. 605, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2009. Inoperative on date prescribed in subd. (f).)
Last modified: October 25, 2018