Blumenthal wants more civil-penalty legislation

John O'Brien Feb. 1, 2007, 2:34pm


HARTFORD, Conn. - Connecticut Attorney General announced Wednesday that he will introduce draft legislation that will allow the state's Department of Public Health to impose civil fines.

Blumenthal is working with Democratic Rep. Paul Davis and says the legislation would allow the DPH to impose civil fines against hospitals that are found to have violated state health laws.

Already existing laws allow the DPH to place hospitals on probation and issue reprimands, but Blumenthal wants to take it a step further.

"Health officials need real enforcement -- not just a blunt instrument -- to penalize hospitals that flagrantly flout the law," Blumenthal said.

Blumenthal also said laws that allow the DPH to impose fines against nursing homes have been effective.

Almost a week earlier, Blumenthal settled with Healthcare Research and Development Institute, which will pay the state $150,000 and disband its group of health care industry vendors and chief executives from the nation's premier hospitals and health care institutions.

He said the group's high-ranking executives were giving preferential treatment to vendors that paid the $40,000 membership fee and forced the HRDI to disband.

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