Investigative Report Finds California Penalties for Adverse Outcomes of Hospital Care Did Not Reduce Harm

July 22, 2016 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


​A program in California intended to publicize "immediate jeopardy incidents" in healthcare has not had the effect of reducing adverse outcomes, according to a June 30, 2016 article in the San Diego Union-Tribune. Since 2007, California has levied more than $17 million in fines against 192 of the state's 495 general and psychiatric hospitals for severe, preventable medical errors. The penalty system is the "only one of its kind" in the United States, according to the article. Analysis by the Union-Tribune failed to find evidence that the penalties improved care quality or reduced preventable harm. "Even after marked improvement between 2014 and last year," the article states, "the number of errors is still higher than when California's program began nine years ago."

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