HealthLeaders Media reports that California Department of Public Health (CDPH) officials have fined Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford University $250,000--the maximum amount allowed under state law--for failing to report a breach of 532 patient medical records due to the theft of a hospital computer. The records included such information as names, dates of birth, procedures and Social Security numbers. The hospital, which is appealing the decision, has stated that when it was determined the computer could not be recovered, the incident was reported to the CDPH, federal authorities and families of potentially affected patients. Under California's failure-to-notify penalties, which are unique in the U.S., state health officials have issued more than $1.8 million in fines against 143 hospitals for failing to report a variety of incidents including breaches of medical records, the report states.
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