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Health department fines CRMC $80K for allegedly not reporting child sex abuses

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The Pennsylvania Department of Health has fined Carlisle Regional Medical Center $80,000 for what it says is failure to document reporting three cases of suspected child abuse to the proper authorities.

Christine Cronkright, DOH spokeswoman, said this afternoon that the department is working closely with the hospital and accepted its plan of correction. The fine was based on a June 29 investigation of 16 medical records, she said, and is the maximum fine allowed by law.

“This is a pretty significant fine for them,” Cronkright said.

She reported that the DOH will perform an unannounced inspection after CRMC has completed its corrections, and if additional problems are found, could take further action ranging from fines to a provisional license.

In a statement posted on CRMC’s website, CEO John Kristel said the hospital respectfully disagrees with the report’s findings that it failed to report three cases of suspected child abuse.

“Pennsylvania law requires that a medical professional report possible sexual abuse to police and other agencies if he or she ‘has reasonable cause to suspect, on the basis of medical, professional or other training and experience’ that sexual abuse has taken place,” Kristel said.

“In one of the three cases cited by the Department of Health, we did indeed file a report. In a second case, one of our trained physicians found no evidence of child sexual abuse. In the third case, the patient declined a medical examination, so we had no opportunity to determine whether there was a reasonable basis to suspect sexual abuse.”

Kristel said the hospital did not endanger the safety and welfare of any child, but accepts full responsibility for documentation errors cited by the department and is implementing a plan to assure they do not recur.

Cronkright said the DOH reported the three cases in question to the Department of Public Welfare as a precaution.


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