The fine comes 3-months after Kaiser shut down its Northern California kidney transplant program, a move prompted by patient lawsuits. The head of Kaiser’s Northern California region – Mary Ann Thode – admits they made mistakes.
"I think everyone underestimated it. I mean everybody thought that it would be much easier than it would be."
The problem started when Kaiser ordered up to 1,500 patient transfers to a new transplant center two years ago.
Kaiser reportedly failed to discuss the transfers with regulators and that delayed procedures. Cindy Ehnes – director of the state Department of Managed Health Care – which levied the fine, says Kaiser was incompetent.
"They bit off more than they could handle and being unable to chew on it actually choked on it."
The $2 million penalty is the largest fine the agency has ever imposed. Kaiser will pay an additional $3 million to a charity that promotes organ donation.