(Below is a press release from the Michigan Attorney General. )
LANSING, Mich., June 21 -- Attorney General Mike Cox announced
today the arrest of a Certified Nurse's Aide, or CNA, for physical
abuse against an 85-year-old wheelchair-bound Muskegon nursing
home resident. "Michigan's most vulnerable citizens deserve the
highest standard of care and anyone who violates that standard
will be prosecuted," said Cox. "This case highlights the need for
the Legislature to pass the criminal background check bills being
introduced today to prevent this kind of risk to nursing home
residents in the future."
Laticia Schevette Brown, 30, of Muskegon, was arrested by Attorney
General investigators on Tuesday. She was arraigned before Judge
Wierengo in Muskegon's 60 Judicial District Court on one count of
Patient Abuse, which carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail
and $10,000 in fines. Brown, who was released on a $1,000 personal
bond, will be back in court July 26 at 8:30 a.m.
for a preliminary examination.
The charges arise from Brown repeatedly striking an elderly
patient in the head between June and September 2004 while employed
as a CNA at Roosevelt Park Nursing and Rehabilitation Community in
Muskegon. Witnesses reported the incidents to the facility
administration, which contacted Cox's Health Care Fraud Division,
and terminated Brown's employment. The Health Care Fraud
Division, which conducted the investigation into Brown, recently
unveiled two studies showing that approximately 10% of employees
working in Michigan's nursing homes and residential care
facilities have criminal histories.
As a result of the studies, Sen. Patricia Birkholz (R - Saugatuck
Twp.), Sen. Tony Stamas (R - Midland), and Sen. Jud Gilbert (R -
Algonac) introduced legislation that expands the scope of the
Adult Foster Care Facility Licensing Act and the Public Health
Code by requiring Michigan's almost 5,000 residential care
facilities to conduct criminal background checks of all employees
and to conduct the checks annually. The legislation also enhances
the criminal sanctions for failing to comply with the requirements
of the criminal background check statutes.
The Attorney General's Health Care Fraud Division is one of 49
federally certified Medicaid Fraud Control Units. Medicaid fraud
investigations and prosecutions include false billings, unlawful
delivery of controlled substances, practicing medicine without a
license, kickbacks, and bribery schemes. Abuse and neglect
investigations and prosecutions include physical assault, criminal
sexual conduct, identity theft, theft of residents' property and
funds, and harmful neglect in Michigan residential care
facilities. The division also initiates civil actions, including
asset forfeiture and claims for Medicaid overpayments.
In conducting its activities, the division works closely with
other agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug
Enforcement Administration, Department of Justice, Michigan State
Police, state regulatory agencies, local law enforcement
agencies, and private health insurance companies.
To report Medicaid provider fraud or identity theft/patient abuse
in a resident care facility, call the Attorney General's 24-hour
Hotline at 800 24-ABUSE (800-242-2873); e-mail
email@example.com ; or visit the Attorney General's Web site at
Source: Michigan Attorney General