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Division of Consumer Affairs
Press Release

Attorney General
Anne Milgram
Division of Consumer Affairs, Director
David Szuchman
   
For Immediate Release:
July 13, 2009
For Further Information Contact:
Jeff Lamm, 973-504-6327
 
State and Health Care Service Firm Reach Settlement

NEWARK - An Ocean County health care service firm has agreed to pay $17,700 in civil penalties and investigative reimbursements to the state, under terms of a Consent Order that ends an investigation into the firm's business practices.

Preferred Health Mate, Inc., located in Brick Township, also agreed to resolve all consumer complaints referred to it by the Division of Consumer Affairs for the next 18 months through binding arbitration if the parties cannot reach a settlement on their own. The company also agreed to comply with the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act and the Employment and Personnel Services Act and regulations in its future operations.

The settlement was reached without an admission of violation by the company.

“The public depends on the health aides provided by this company and this settlement requires Preferred Health Mate to ensure the aides are properly licensed or certified,” said David Szuchman, Consumer Affairs Director. “Health aides provide critical services, and with an aging population, more consumers will be turning to them in the future.”

Preferred Health Mate agreed not to allow uncertified aides to perform services that legally require a certified aide. The company also will create an employment application form that complies with regulations.

Preferred Health Mate agreed to enact the following business practices:

  • Placing only health care practitioners who are currently licensed or certified;

  • Creating and maintaining a Plan of Care in clients' files;

  • Creating an application for each applicant seeking placement that includes all required information;

  • Verifying license status of each individual prior to referral or placement;

  • Maintaining a copy of the license or registration with the required notation conspicuously written across the entire face of the license;

  • Creating a job order for every position, or type of position, within a single institution, for which a referral or placement is to be made; and

  • Maintaining a copy of a bond of $10,000 or a certified financial report establishing a net worth of $100,000 or greater.

Deputy Attorney General John D. Hugelmeyer represented the state in this matter.

The Division of Consumer Affairs, through its Regulated Business Section, registers and oversees health care service firms. These firms employ and assign individuals to provide health care or personal care services either in the home or at a care-giving facility. Personal care services include bathing, toileting, transferring, dressing, grooming, and assistance with ambulation, exercise, or other aspects of personal hygiene.

View Consent Order

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