MDH investigates financial exploitation complaint

HIBBING — An investigation by the Minnesota Department of Health’s (MDH) Office of Health Facility Complaints (OHFC) has substantiated an allegation of financial exploitation by a Fairview HealthLine HomeCare home health aide.

Jessica L. Foster, 23, of Hibbing, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft in February in St. Louis County Court in Hibbing. Foster, a former home health aide with Fairview HealthLine HomeCare, was convicted of a petty misdemeanor and sentenced to pay a fine of $135.
The incident was also investigated by OHFC, and the home health aide was found to be responsible for the financial exploitation after she took a patient’s ring and pawned it without permission in January, according to the OHFC investigative report released Tuesday.

Financial exploitation of a home health care patient is a violation of the Minnesota Vulnerable Adults Act.
 
The report found that financial exploitation occurred when Foster, who is not named in the report, took a patient’s ring and pawned it without permission for her own personal use.
 
The patient, who was receiving services from the agency including assistance with personal care, was assessed by the agency to be vulnerable to abuse by others.
 
Foster was one of the staff members scheduled to assist the patient.
 
The patient and a family member told the OHFC investigator that she called the family member when she noticed her gold ring was missing from a table after the health care worker had been in the home.
The patient’s family member checked at a local pawn shop, discovered the ring and notified the police. Nothing else was believed to be missing from the home, according to the report.
 
OHFC investigators also reviewed police reports and found that Foster had admitted to police that she’d taken the ring and pawned it without permission.
 
She also pawned two necklaces along with the ring for a total of $167, according to the report.
Fairview also did its own internal investigation after learning of the alleged theft and promptly terminated Foster, who was still in the orientation phase of employment, said Mitch Vincent, Fairview VP of organizational support.
 
“We don’t tolerate this sort of behavior. Theft is not something we tolerate, especially (from) our patients,” he said. “We investigate thoroughly and take immediate actions when we learn about these types of situations.”
 
The OHFC has submitted its report on the incident to the nurse aide registry for possible inclusion of the finding on the abuse registry and/or to the Minnesota Department of Human Services for possible disqualification.
 
Foster has the right to appeal the finding.
 

Full Article and Source:
MDH investigates financial exploitation complaint

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One Response to “MDH investigates financial exploitation complaint”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Got to watch aides in facilities. The problem seems to be getting worse.

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