Report 2010-108 Recommendation 6 Responses

Report 2010-108: Department of Public Health: It Reported Inaccurate Financial Information and Can Likely Increase Revenues for the State and Federal Health Facilities Citation Penalties Accounts (Release Date: June 2010)

Recommendation #6 To: Public Health, Department of

To ensure consistency with federal guidance related to federal requirements, and that it is not creating incentives for facilities to appeal citations issued for noncompliance with state requirements, Public Health should provide guidance to its staff that discourages settling appealed monetary penalties for a better term than had the facility not contested the citation and paid the penalty within the time frame specified in law to receive a 35 percent reduction. If Public Health believes instances occur when it is appropriate to reduce a monetary penalty by more than 35 percent, it should document which statutory or regulatory factors that formed the basis for concluding that the original class of citation and corresponding monetary penalty amount were no longer considered valid or relevant.

Agency Response*

California Department of Public Health (CDPH) will not implement this recommendation. The right to appeal is a part of the due process afforded to all providers. CDPH does not agree that it inappropriately granted reductions. These reductions are the result of settlement negotiations that took place prior to court hearings CDPH does not view the outcome of negotiations as providing an incentive for facilities to appeal. CDPH must maintain maximum flexibility to individually negotiate citations, which may include the level of the citation and/or the final penalty amount, and weigh all factors in a final settlement. Implementing this recommendation would hinder CDPH's ability to achieve equitable settlements, force CDPH to adhere to a fixed policy that may not be appropriate in all circumstances, and infringe on the Department's deliberative process when considering settlement of the citation.

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Response Date: May 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Will Not Implement


Agency Response*

California Department of Public Health (CDPH) will not implement this recommendation. The right to appeal is a part of the due process afforded to all providers. CDPH does not agree that it inappropriately granted reductions. These reductions are the result of settlement negotiations that took place prior to court hearings CDPH does not view the outcome of negotiations as providing an incentive for facilities to appeal. CDPH must maintain maximum flexibility to individually negotiate citations, which may include the level of the citation and/or the final penalty amount, and weigh all factors in a final settlement. Implementing this recommendation would hinder CDPH's ability to achieve equitable settlements, force CDPH to adhere to a fixed policy that may not be appropriate in all circumstances, and infringe on the Department's deliberative process when considering settlement of the citation.

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Response Date: June 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Will Not Implement


Agency Response*

CDPH will not implement this recommendation. The right to appeal is a part of the due process afforded to all providers. CDPH does not view the outcome of negotiations as providing an incentive for facilities to appeal. CDPH must maintain maximum flexibility to negotiate citations and weigh all factors in a final settlement. Implementing this recommendation would hinder CDPH's ability to achieve equitable settlements and force CDPH to adhere to a fixed policy that may not be appropriate in all circumstances.

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Response Date: October 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Will Not Implement


Agency Response*

CDPH will not implement this recommendation. The right to appeal is a part of the due process afforded to all providers. CDPH does not view the outcome of negotiations as providing an incentive for facilities to appeal. CDPH must maintain maximum flexibility to negotiate citations and weigh all factors in a final settlement. Implementing this recommendation would hinder CDPH's ability to achieve equitable settlements and force CDPH to adhere to a fixed policy that may not be appropriate in all circumstances.

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Response Date: October 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Will Not Implement


Agency Response*

CDPH disagrees with this recommendation to ensure that it is not creating incentives for facilities to appeal citations, and that CDPH should establish a policy that discourages settling appealed monetary penalties for better terms than had the facility not contested the citation and paid the penalty within the timeframe specified in law to receive a 35 percent reduction.

CDPH will not be implementing BSA recommendation. The right to appeal is a part of the due process afforded to all providers. CDPH does not view the outcome of negotiations as providing an incentive for facilities to appeal. CDPH must maintain maximum flexibility to negotiate citations and weigh all factors in a final settlement. Adoption of BSA's recommendation would hinder CDPH's ability to achieve equitable settlements, and force CDPH to adhere to a set policy which may not be appropriate in all circumstances. Moreover, it would put CDPH in an uneven bargaining position if the facility became aware of CDPH's settlement policy.

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Response Date: September 2012

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Will Not Implement


All Recommendations in 2010-108

†Response Type refers to the interval in which the auditee is providing the State Auditor with their status in implementing recommendations made in an audit report. Auditees must submit a response regarding their progress in implementing recommendations from our reports at three intervals from the release of the report: 60 days, six months, and one year or subsequent to one year.

*Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.


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