State regulators determined that a Redding hospital owned by Prime Healthcare Services Inc. violated patient confidentiality by sharing a woman's medical files with journalists and sending an email about her treatment to 785 hospital workers.
In a report issued this week, the California Department of Public Health found that Shasta Regional Medical Center had five deficiencies related to the unauthorized disclosure of medical information on a diabetes patient treated there in 2010. Prime Healthcare, based in Ontario, said it is appealing the state's findings.
"Shasta Regional Medical Center believed and continues to believe that the disclosures, if any, were permitted under both federal and state law," company spokesman Edward Barrera said.
The hospital was seeking to respond to a story published by California Watch, a nonprofit news organization, that featured patient Darlene Courtois and allegations that the hospital was overbilling Medicare. This alleged breach of patient confidentiality was revealed in a Jan. 4 column in the Los Angeles Times.