New York state's health department levied new fines totaling $66,000 against Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, for 33 new violations identified in an expanded investigation of 92 patient-care complaints. Investigators said they confirmed problems in 53 of the 92 complaints received since March, when health officials fined the hospital $48,000 fine for 18 deficiencies in the postoperative care of a liver donor who died. The new violations include serious quality-of-care deficiencies in 11 cases. Nine of the cases involved the hospital's troublesome liver transplant program. The others involved a delay in emergency surgery and the premature discharge of a kidney-transplant patient. Mount Sinai said most of the problems occurred prior to 2002 and have been addressed and corrected.
Controversy has shadowed the medical center in recent months amid mounting losses on operations. Last week, in a shake-up at the highest echelons, the hospital's president, Barry Freedman, was removed. He will be succeeded by Larry Hollier, M.D., who currently serves as senior vice president of medical affairs. "Our new professional leadership team will continue to focus on, and be accountable for, providing the utmost in quality patient care, scientific advancement and service to the community," Hollier said in a written statement on the health department's findings. -- by Cinda Becker