Representatives Madeleine Dean (D-PA) and Larry Bucshon (R-IN) this month introduced the Safety from Violence for Healthcare Employees Act (SAVE Act) (H.R. 7961), which would give health care workers the same legal protections against assault and intimidation that Federal law affords flight crews and airport workers. The SAVE Act provides legal penalties for those who knowingly and intentionally attack hospital employees—with some protections for perpetrators who are mentally incapacitated by illness or substance use.
Under the SAVE Act, individuals who assault or intimidate hospital employees would face up to 10 years in prison, with enhanced penalties, including up to 20 years in prison, for perpetrators who inflict bodily injury. It would also provide grants for hospital programs to reduce the incidence of violence in care settings. Hospitals could use these grants to train personnel, coordinate with state and local law enforcement, and purchase equipment or technology to foster a safer environment.
GNYHA strongly supports the SAVE Act, and we hope that Congress passes this vital legislation.