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State aiming to revoke license of detox center

State regulators are looking to yank the license of a detoxification center in Costa Mesa, alleging staff members falsified medical records of a patient who died there.

On Nov. 8, the license for Pacific Coast Detox was suspended pending the outcome of an administrative revocation hearing, according to California Department of Health Care Services spokeswoman Katharine Weir.

A date for that hearing has not yet been set, Weir wrote in an email Wednesday. Pacific Coast, at 536 Hamilton St., has been licensed since March 2014.

The action from Health Care Services follows an investigation into the circumstances surrounding an unidentified patient who died while detoxing at the factility.

A state investigation revealed Pacific Coast staff did not check on the patient as often as is required and "entered false information" in the decedent's file — logging erroneous entries suggesting observational checks had been made, according to documents provided to the Daily Pilot this week.

State certification standards require patients be checked every 30 minutes during the first 12 hours after they are admitted to monitor withdrawal signs and symptoms.

Analysts reviewed video footage from Pacific Coast on the day of the death and found only one instance where a staff member checked on the patient face-to-face, documents state.

The state alleges Pacific Coast "has demonstrated conduct that is inimical" — harmful or detrimental — "to the health, morals, welfare or safety of an individual receiving service from the facility and to the people of the state of California."

Officials at Pacific Coast did not respond to an email or phone call seeking comment Wednesday.

The facility's website also appears to have been taken down, but a cached version states that Pacific Coast offers "clinical detoxification services" to men and women who have abused substances such as alcohol, opiates, prescription drugs and heroin.

State officials declined to say when exactly the patient died, or provide information such as the person's gender or age, citing privacy laws.

luke.money@latimes.com

Twitter: @LukeMMoney

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