According to Debbie White, HPAE President, “Health care workers are five times more likely to be assaulted than any other workforce”, a horrifying statistic.  New Jersey is joining other states to legislate protections for this critical profession.

On May 8, 2023, Governor Murphy signed A-3199, the Health Care Heroes Violence Protection Act, into law.  Under the bill, any person who knowingly and willfully makes, delivers, or sends a threat against health care workers covered by the act with the intent to intimidate, interfere, or impede the performance of his/her official duties is guilty of a disorderly persons offense, punishable by imprisonment of up to six months and a fine of up to $1,000.  If the attack rises to the level of assault, the perpetrator is subject to being sentenced to up to 12 months of anger management courses and community service of up to 30 days as well.

Who is protected by the act? The coverage is pretty broad: health care professionals and health care facilities, along with employees and volunteers, while in the course of performing their official duties.

What is your responsibility?  Lest a criminal not realize the consequences of his/her actions, health care facilities and certain physicians will be required to display a written notice advising that it is a crime, punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both, to assault health care workers and volunteers.  When more details are developed for this notification, we will keep you posted.

Article submitted by Terri L. Marakos, CPA, CHBC