ST. PETERS, Mo. –
A home health care worker is accused of robbing a St. Peters woman in her own home.
Now, that patient is turning to the I-Team to warn others and get answers.
The I-Team found out why that home health care company isn't taking full responsibility.
It all started with an eager puppy. While walking him last year, Maureen Finnegan lost her balance and injured her knee.
She needed round the clock care, so she called Continuum, a local home health care company
"[The worker] seemed so friendly and so caring, like a caregiver should be," said Finnegan.
The company then sent over Latosha Taylor to care for a heavily-drugged Finnegan who says for two weeks there were no obvious problems.
But then Finnegan says she realized things were missing.
Finnegan claims those things included "jewelry, some silver coins we had in there. Credit cards. I was sitting in that chair the whole time and I couldn't get up."
Taylor was arrested, and later charged with two counts of theft in St. Charles County.
Finnegan, now out $5,000, expected Continuum to reimburse her for the alleged stolen items.
But she says that hasn't happened yet.
"They said they couldn't do anything for restitution until she was charged," said Finnegan.
Even as she gets stronger, Finnegan says she is still far from carefree. She is the sole caretaker for her partner, who is in late stage renal failure.
As a caregiver herself, she wants to warn others who may be vulnerable and looking for help.
"Even though they did a background check, you have to make sure. Keep your eyes open. I don't want her to get away with doing anything again, like she did to us," said Finnegan.
Barth Holohan, the President of Continuum Home Health, said after Taylor's court hearing this month, when they have a finalized list of what was stolen, then they'll be able to start the restitution process.
Full Statement from Continuum Home Health:
Under HIPAA, and the fact that we are working with law enforcement regarding an ongoing investigation, I am limited in what I can disclose. However, before we hire any employee we follow an extensive process including local, state and national background check. We do not hire anyone with a criminal record.
Once hired, if an employee does not measure up to Continuum’s high standard of conduct we work with our clients and law enforcement as well as the division of health and senior services, as well as have insurance to cover property stolen by an employee that was convicted.
Continuum Home Care Services strives to hire the best in-home healthcare providers in the St. Louis region.
Before we hire an employee, we have the following extensive background checks:
National background check through Intellicorp;
Employee Disqualification List from the Department of Health and Senior Services;
Office of Inspector General of the State of Missouri;
Family Care Safety Registry;
Illinois Department of Public Health Care Worker Registry Check (for staff living in Illinois);
Motor vehicle record;
State searches for certifications;
Professional and personal reference checks;
Drug testing; and
Ongoing quarterly and annual checks once hired.
Unfortunately, not every employee measures up to Continuum's high standards of conduct. When we receive a report of employee misconduct, we:
Advise the client to report the misconduct to the local police department;
Initiate an internal investigation into the incident;
Coordinate with law enforcement concerning the investigation;
Work with the client to obtain a full list of any stolen property;
Prepare to make full and complete restitution for any stolen property;
Reimburse the client for the hours the employee worked;
Report the incident to the Elder Abuse Hotline; and
Terminate the employee.
We are prepared to make full and complete restitution for any property stolen by an employee. We also have an insurance policy that will cover any property that was stolen by an employee that is convicted.
These are the benefits of hiring a responsible company like Continuum, rather than hiring an individual privately.
-Barth Holohan, President