Sacramento, California - The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Tuesday announced that Avalon Care Center-Sonora, a Tuolumne County skilled nursing facility, has received a Class “AA” citation, the most severe penalty under state law, and an $80,000 fine.

A CDPH investigation found deficiencies that were determined to have been a direct proximate cause of death of a patient or resident.

All nursing facilities in California are required to be in compliance with applicable state and federal laws and regulations governing health care facilities. Facilities are required to comply with these standards to ensure quality of care.

CDPH has the statutory authority to impose fines against nursing facilities it licenses as part of enforcement remedies for poor care. State citations that require a civil monetary penalty are categorized as Class B, A or AA. The associated fines range from $100 to $2,000 for Class B, $2,000 to $20,000 for Class A and $25,000 to $100,000 for Class AA. The citation class and amount of the fine depend upon the significance and severity of the substantiated violation, as prescribed and defined in California law.

By providing nursing facilities it licenses with consequences for substantiated violations, CDPH strives to protect the health and safety of vulnerable individuals. The citation process is part of CDPH’s ongoing enforcement efforts in improving the quality of care provided to residents of the State’s approximately 1,200 skilled nursing facilities.