The state Attorney General is seeking to revoke the registrations of two Hudson County health care service firms for allegedly submitting false, deceptive, or misleading documents to the state and improperly training Homemaker-Home Health Aides (CHHAs) sent into patient homes.
This comes after the Division of Consumer Affairs launched an investigation into NJ Golden Home Care Corporation (“Golden”) and Nora Home Care LLC (“Nora”)—both in Jersey City—for alleged violations of the Private Employment Agency Act and related regulations.
According to the NJOAG, parallel investigations into both companies found their CHHA training programs allegedly were not taught or overseen by an approved Program Instructor and a Program Coordinator, who ensure that training programs meet required standards.
This means that those trained under their programs don’t meet the requirements to be certified as CHHAs by the New Jersey State Board of Nursing.
According to the verified complaint, Golden and Nora submitted to the board program documents representing that Registered Professional Nurse Patrick Henriques, was both Program Coordinator and Program Instructor for their CHHA training programs for various training sessions between May 2019 and November 2020.
According the the complaint, except for the May 2019 Program Application submitted to the board, Henriques did not sign the program documents, and the signatures on those documents are fraudulent.
That would mean of the 382 people who underwent the training and applied for certification, at least 372 did not meet the board’s standards but were still certified.
Statutory requirements allegedly not met
“Every training program taken by the CHHAs covered in this action, was not overseen by a Board-approved Program Coordinator, taught by a Board-approved Program Instructor, and did not provide the required 16 hours of clinical instruction and, as such, did not meet the statutory requirements for CHHA training,” states the complaint, which notes that “each CHHA covered by this action certified in his/her initial application to the Board that he/she had enrolled in or completed an approved training program conducted at either Golden or Nora … Based on this representation, the application to become a CHHA submitted by each CHHA covered by this action was approved. These certifications remain currently active.”
This is the second time the state has taken action against Golden.
On November 28, 2018, the Division issued a Notice of Violation to Golden for violations of the Private Employment Agency Act and related regulations.
At the time, Golden did not contest the violations and paid a $4,000 civil penalty.
As a result of these investigations, the Attorney General initiated disciplinary proceedings against individual CHHAs who allegedly obtained their certifications without completing the educational requirements mandated by the New Jersey Board of Nursing.
Those actions will be adjudicated by the board, which oversees CHHAs and authorizes all CHHA training programs.
Both companies can request a hearing to challenge the allegations and present additional information.
Deputy Attorneys General Donna Dorgan of the Consumer Fraud Prosecution Section and Alina Wells of the Professional Boards Prosecution Section in the Division of Law’s Affirmative Civil Enforcement Practice Group are representing the state.
Investigators Maureen Browne of the Office of Consumer Protection and Kathleen Cefalu, Walter Mazariegos, and Matthew Conicella assigned to the Enforcement Bureau in the Division of Consumer Affairs conducted the investigation.
Clients of Golden and Nora who have questions should reach out to their health plans:
Aetna Better Health of New Jersey:
- Medicaid and Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) Members: 1-855-232-3596
- Aetna Assure Premier Plus (HMO D-SNP) members: 1- 844-362-0934
- Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) members: 1-844-444-4410
- Non-MLTSS members: 1-800-682-9094
UnitedHealthcare Community Plan: 1-800-645-9409
Amerigroup New Jersey: 1-855-661-1996