- Office of the Attorney General
Media Contact for Springfield Home Health Aide Pleads Guilty to Abusing Elderly Patient
Thomas Dalton, Deputy Press Secretary
SPRINGFIELD — A Springfield home health aide who was licensed as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) has pleaded guilty and been sentenced for a 2021 incident in which she abused an elderly patient, Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell announced today.
Rodette Robinson, 54, of Springfield, pleaded guilty Friday in Hampden Superior Court to two counts of the charge of Abuse, Neglect, or Mistreatment of an Elder by a Caretaker. Following the plea, Judge David M. Hodge sentenced Robinson to two years in the house of correction, suspended for three years and probation. For the three-year period of probation, Judge Hodge imposed conditions, including that Robinson complete anger management and conflict resolution programs. Judge Hodge also prohibited Robinson from having any responsibility for elders and persons with disabilities during the period of probation, including any employment (paid or volunteer), and from working in any home health care setting, nursing home, rest home, or long-term care facility during her probation.
“This defendant callously and violently assaulted an elder Alzheimer’s patient, and was caught on camera doing it,” said AG Campbell. “We will continue to investigate and prosecute these elder abuse cases because home health patients and their loved ones deserve to trust that caretakers will provide compassionate and excellent care.”
In November 2021, the family of a 91-year-old Alzheimer’s patient in Wilbraham reported to Robinson’s employer, a home health agency, that Robinson physically abused the patient in an incident captured on the family’s video surveillance system. Specifically, Robinson shook the patient from a recliner and aggressively dragged her into the bathroom causing noticeable bruising and injuries to the patient’s left arm and side. Shortly thereafter, the home health agency terminated Robinson’s employment and reported her to the Nurse Aide Registry and the Department of Public Health (DPH). A subsequent investigation by DPH resulted in a suspension of Robinson’s CNA license and a referral to the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Division. In September 2022, the AG’s Office secured indictments against Robinson before a Hampden County Grand Jury.
This case is part of AG Campbell’s ongoing efforts to address abuse, neglect and harm of elderly patients and residents in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities. In January, AG Campbell co-sponsored legislation filed by Senator Jason Lewis (D-Winchester) and Representative Ruth Balser (D-Newton) to strengthen the civil enforcement tools used by the AG’s Office to address abuse and neglect of elderly and disabled patients, whether they are cared for at home or in nursing homes. The bill increases the civil penalties that the office can seek for mistreatment, abuse or neglect and increases the time in which the office can bring a civil suit from two years to four years.
This matter was investigated and prosecuted by Managing Attorney Gregory Matthews, Senior Trial Attorney Elisha Willis, and Healthcare Fraud Investigators Caitlin Albert and Ashley Marquez, all of AG Campbell’s Medicaid Fraud Division, and Senior Victim Witness Advocate Megan Murphy of the AG’s Victim Services Division. The investigation was assisted by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the Wilbraham Police Department, and Elara Caring, a home health agency in Newton.
The AG’s Medicaid Fraud Division is a Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, annually certified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to investigate and prosecute health care providers who defraud the Medicaid program (MassHealth). The Medicaid Fraud Division also has jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute complaints of abuse, neglect and financial exploitation of residents in long-term care facilities and of Medicaid patients in any health care setting.
The Massachusetts Medicaid Fraud Division receives 75 percent of its funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under a grant award totaling $5,542,963 for Federal fiscal year 2023. The remaining 25 percent, totaling $1,847,641 for FY 2023, is funded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.