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Modern Healthcare - - Regional News -

SACRA­MENTO, Calif.—

Six hos­pi­tals and one nurs­ing home in Cal­i­for­nia were fined a to­tal of $792,500 for fail­ing to pre­vent snoop­ing into pa­tients’ med­i­cal records. The penal­ties stem from two laws signed by Gov. Arnold Sch­warzeneg­ger in 2008 af­ter a rash of high-pro­file cases of hos­pi­tal work­ers peek­ing at celebri­ties’ med­i­cal records. Med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties can be fined $25,000 per pa­tient med­i­cal in­for­ma­tion breach, and an ad­di­tional $17,500 for each sub­se­quent breach of each pa­tient’s med­i­cal data. The fa­cil­i­ties that re­ceived penal­ties are: Biggs-Gri­d­ley (Calif.) Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal; Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal of Orange County, Orange; De­lano (Calif.) Re­gional Med­i­cal Cen­ter; Kaweah Manor Con­va­les­cent Hos­pi­tal in Visalia; Kern Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Bak­ers­field; Oroville (Calif.) Hos­pi­tal; and Pa­cific Hos­pi­tal of Long Beach (Calif.). The fines ranged from $5,000 to $250,000. Kern Med­i­cal Cen­ter was fined $250,000—the max­i­mum penalty al­lowed—for not pre­vent­ing the theft of nearly 600 pa­tients’ med­i­cal in­for­ma­tion. Kern also was fined $60,000 be­cause two em­ploy­ees on three oc­ca­sions peeked at one pa­tient’s records. “Med­i­cal pri­vacy is a fun­da­men­tal right and a crit­i­cal com­po­nent of qual­ity med­i­cal care in Cal­i­for­nia,” said Mark Hor­ton, di­rec­tor of the state’s Pub­lic Health Depart­ment, in a state­ment. “We are very concerned with vi­o­la­tions of pa­tient con­fi­den­tial­ity and their po­ten­tial harm to the res­i­dents of Cal­i­for­nia.”

VIC­TORVILLE, Calif.—

A bank­ruptcy court auc­tion pro­duced a win­ning bid of $37 mil­lion for 115-bed Vic­tor Val­ley Com­mu­nity Hos­pi­tal, ac­cord­ing to court records. Kali Chaud­huri is a prin­ci­pal of the two en­ti­ties that sub­mit­ted the win­ning bid, ac­cord­ing to a dec­la­ra­tion Chaud­huri filed with the U.S. Bank­ruptcy Court in River­side, Calif. Chaud­huri, a physi­cian, is the con­trol­ling share­holder

Vic­tor Val­ley went for $37 mil­lion in a bank­ruptcy court auc­tion.

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