14 hospital, health system controversies in the last week

Here are 14 hospitals and health systems that have faced controversies in the last seven days, reported by Becker's since Sept. 12:

1. Richard Duvall, CEO of Carthage (N.Y.) Area Hospital and Ogdensburg, N.Y.-based Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center, said they received a demand from hackers but will not be paying the ransom. The two New York hospitals were hit by a ransomware attack that forced them to divert ambulances to other local hospitals and reschedule most appointments. 

2. Julie DeVuono, a nurse practitioner and owner and operator of Amityville, N.Y.-based Wild Child Pediatric Healthcare, pleaded guilty to forging COVID-19 vaccination record cards and illegally obtaining prescriptions for oxycodone for herself in the name of relatives.

3. Federal investigators alleged that Clinicas del Camino Real — a 16-location clinic chain headquartered in Camarillo, Calif. — illegally terminated its former CFO in an act of retaliation in 2021. Investigators claim that former CFO Christina Velasco was fired after she complained to company leaders that Clinicas' board violated financial guidelines, including bypassing the bidding process and awarding contracts to friends and colleagues.

4. Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita filed a lawsuit against IU Health and IU Healthcare Associates, alleging that the Indianapolis-based academic medical center failed to train employees and protect personal health information a year after a physician spoke to the media about a 10-year-old patient's abortion. 

5. Police are investigating the death of an infant who was found dead in a patient's room at Covenant Health Hobbs (N.M.) Hospital.

6. A federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment against Eduardo Lopez, an executive at three different healthcare staffing agencies in the Las Vegas area, charging him with wage fixing and wire fraud. 

7. Dawn Drum, RN, a former Wisconsin nurse, was sentenced to 15 months in prison and one year of supervised release and fined $30,000 for stealing fentanyl from her hospital and replacing it with saline.

8. Months after the closure of Stone Academy, a for-profit healthcare college in West Haven, Conn., former nursing students who were unable to finish their education are coming forward, suing the school for $10.35 million.

9. Tacoma, Wash.-based Virginia Mason Franciscan Health denied claims that it shared patients' protected health information with third parties after a lawsuit claimed the health system used pixels on its website and patient portal, which allowed Meta to intercept patient data.  

10. Dawna Miller, the former CFO of Mercy Iowa City, and Judy Andronowitz, its former clinic chief operating officer, sued the hospital for allegedly shorting their severance payments. Both were terminated in August 2022 as the hospital announced its search for a new strategic partner had failed and that it would keep its affiliation with Des Moines-based MercyOne. The pair allege the hospital has not responded to their demands or provided an explanation for withholding payment. 

11. Current and former employees accused Midvale, Utah-based Highland Ridge Hospital of allowing assaults on patients and pressuring staff not to report them to police. Police have responded to more than 100 assault cases at the hospital since 2019. According to one police report, an employee told officers that hospital staff members "are threatened with being 'fired' if they report such incidents, due to it affecting the hospital reputation."

12. Seattle-based UW Medicine lost a patient's tumor before it could be tested for cancer, according to a lawsuit filed by the patient, who is suing the hospital for medical negligence. 

13. Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente health system was ordered to pay the state $49 million to settle allegations of illegally dumping hazardous waste, medical supplies and patient information.

14. A nurse at Providence-based Rhode Island Hospital is in critical condition after a patient attacked him. The nurse was violently assaulted while working in the inpatient unit of the hospital's psychiatric department.

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Webinars

Featured Whitepapers

Featured Podcast