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Michigan Attorney General Charges Certified Nurse's Aide With Physical Abuse of Nursing Home Resident

(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 ; or visit the Attorney General's Web site at .

Source: Michigan Attorney General