Hospital that delivered octuplets is fined

May 15, 2009 at 9:40 AM
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LOS ANGELES, May 15 (UPI) -- A California hospital has been fined $250,000 for failing to keep employees from snooping at the records of octuplets mom Nadya Suleman, regulators say.

Spokeswoman Kathleen Billingsley of the California Department of Health says the steps Kaiser Permanente's Bellflower hospital took to protect Suleman's privacy were not aggressive enough, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

The department found breaches of Suleman's records extended beyond Bellflower and continued even after Kaiser informed regulators it had uncovered a breach.

Eight workers at other Kaiser hospitals and the chain's regional office were among those implicated, Billingsley said.

The Bellflower fine is the first monetary penalty imposed and the largest allowed under a new state law enacted after widely publicized violations of privacy at UCLA Medical Center involving celebrities.

"The fine issued today should be a reminder that there are consequences for violations of medical privacy," said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in a written statement issued Thursday.

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