Florida hospital faces huge fine over children's heart unit

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Florida regulators are preparing to issue one of the largest fines against a hospital in recent memory.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital could face a total of $804,000 in penalties from the state Agency for Health Care Administration.

The action comes nine months after the Times uncovered an increase in deaths and complications linked to the hospital's heart surgery department.

The Times reports that financial filings indicate that the hospital's parent company was notified of the potential fine.

Even though the St. Petersburg hospital says it has addressed violations, heart surgeries remain suspended while it restructures the unit.

To date, the hospital has agreed to nearly $43 million in settlements with families of children who died or were hurt in the unit.

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