Edgemoor Hospital Again Cited for Violations

Times Staff Writer

San Diego County-run Edgemoor Geriatric Hospital, fined $20,000 in January for health code violations, has been cited again by state health officials for failing to meet state and federal health standards, it was announced Thursday.

The announcement of the additional violations followed a two-week annual certification survey for facilities participating in Medicare and Medi-Cal programs. Citations had been issued to the convalescent hospital for numerous violations linked to the deaths of two patients, according to Gil Wilmer, assistant chief of field operations for the Department of State Health Services in Sacramento.

State officials had levied "Class A" fines totaling $20,000 against the hospital for "conditions which present imminent danger to patients, from which death or physical harm could result," Wilmer said.

Investigators found that the hospital failed to meet 7 of the 18 conditions for participation in the federal programs, Wilmer said. The specifics of the violations will not be made public until the federal Department of Health and Human Services regional office in San Francisco has reviewed the case. Wilmer said the review should be completed by the end of the month.

In January, the hospital was fined $5,000 for negligence in the death of a 66-year-old paralyzed woman who was left unattended in a bathtub and drowned Dec. 10. Later in January, Edgemoor was fined an additional $15,000 for violations state investigators found were linked to the death of a legless patient who fell out of bed Jan. 10 and later died of a heart attack.

Two additional citations have been issued as a result of the survey, Wilmer said.

Directors of the 342-bed skilled nursing facility must submit a plan of correction, within 10 days, for the deficiencies, Wilmer said.

A hospital source said everything is being done to complete the plan of correction.

"Closing the hospital would only be a last resort," Wilmer said. "It is a large and needed facility. We hope to see it coming into compliance with the law.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World