$163K Penalty for Home Health Agency Recommended After of Home Health Worker Died

by | May 12, 2024

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recommended penalizing a home healthcare company with $163,627 for allegedly failing to safeguard workers against serious dangers of work violence. OSHA cited New England Home Care Inc., and Jordan Health Care Inc., dba Elara Caring, a big home healthcare company in the U.S. with over 200 branches located in 17 states.

OSHA started an investigation after visiting nurse, Joyce Grayson, faced an attempted sexual attack and murder in October 2023. On October 28, 2023, Grayson went to a halfway house in Willimantic, Connecticut to help a client get his prescription medicine. The police were called after Grayson did not show up at succeeding appointments, and her body was discovered in the basement of the halfway house. Michael Reese, 39 years old, was the client Grayson was visiting. He had been charged with rape and had been in prison for 14 years after sexually attacking and killing a woman in 2006. He has been accused of murder, attempted first-degree sexual assault, and felony murder.

OSHA discovered that Elara Caring had inadequate safety measures to keep home health workers safe. On several occasions, home healthcare employees were open to workplace violence from patients who showed aggressive conduct and were seen to present a threat to other people. OSHA stated that Elara Caring did not cut down the risk of harm in the place of work, like giving nurses background details on customers, giving home healthcare employees emergency panic solutions, and establishing procedures for having safety escorts in case of facing patients with high-risk conduct.

OSHA area director, Charles McGreavy, stated that Elara Caring was unable to do its legal responsibility to safeguard employees from injury in the workplace by not setting up efficient measures to safeguard employees against an identified threat and it led to the death of a worker. To protect the well-being of its employees, Elara should create, apply, and maintain necessary safety measures including a detailed workplace violence prevention plan. Every worker has the right to feel safe in the workplace.

Elara Caring stated the occurrence was traumatic, but debated OSHA’s discoveries and plans to argue the citation. A company representative stated Reese was discharged from prison and was confirmed by the Department of Corrections to be okay to rejoin the community. The murder urged legislators in Connecticut to propose legislation that calls for home healthcare companies in the state to enhance security for employees, which include giving them background facts on clients. Compliance with HIPAA training requirements may also be helpful. The House lately approved the legal guidelines, which currently wait for the governor’s signature.

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Ryan Coyne

Ryan Coyne is a results-driven leader in the healthcare compliance industry, specializing in regulatory compliance, compliance training, and assisting healthcare organizations and business associates in achieving and maintaining compliance. With a deep knowledge of healthcare regulations and a keen understanding of the challenges faced by the industry, Ryan has developed a reputation as a trusted advisor and advocate for ethical and compliant practices in healthcare. Ryan has successfully advised and guided numerous healthcare organizations, business associates, and healthcare professionals on achieving and maintaining compliance with regulatory training requirements. Ryan's professional focus is using his in-depth expertise and leading a world class team of subject matter experts at ComplianceJunction in regulatory compliance to help organisations navigate the complex landscape of ensuring staff adhere to healthcare regulations. You can connect with Ryan via LinkedIn and follow on Twitter

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