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Hospitals, Federal Lawmakers Call for SAVE Act Support

HAP-supported bill would help address violence against health care workers

January 31, 2024

Hospital leaders and federal lawmakers came together this week in support of the Safety from Violence for Healthcare Employees (SAVE) Act.

During a Capitol Hill briefing on Tuesday, the bill’s sponsors and the hospital community outlined how the SAVE Act would provide protections for health care staff and support programs to reduce workplace violence. Speakers during the event were Representative Madeleine Dean (D-PA-4), co-sponsor, and Kate FitzPatrick, EVP/Connelly Foundation, chief nurse executive officer, Jefferson Health, professor and associate Dean, Jefferson College of Nursing.

Dean and Representative Larry Bucshon, MD, (R-Ind.) first introduced the SAVE Act during 2022 and are calling for their colleagues to act this year to support the bill.

 The HAP-supported legislation would:

  • Establish federal criminal penalties for those who knowingly assault and intimidate hospital employees. The bill includes enhanced penalties for the use of a dangerous weapon that results in injury and acts committed during a public emergency, as well as exceptions for individuals who may be mentally incapacitated due to illness or substance use. These federal protections are on par with those protecting airline workers.
  • Authorizing annual grant funding over the next decade for initiatives to reduce violence and intimidation in hospitals.

Last week, the American Hospital Association and other national health care groups signed a joint letter urging lawmakers in both chambers to support the bill. HAP thanks our federal lawmakers and hospital leaders for taking action to support this important cause. Several Pennsylvania leaders have co-sponsored the bill, including Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-1), Susan Wild (D-PA-7), Daniel Meuser (R-PA-9), John Joyce (R-PA-13), and Glenn Thompson (R-PA-15).

For questions about the SAVE Act or other federal initiatives, contact John Myers, vice president, federal advocacy.