On January 19, 2012, the Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) released its Memorandum Report on the results of a long-term care provider administrator survey conducted pursuant to the Nationwide Program for National and State Background Checks on Direct Patient Access Employees of Long-Term-Care Facilities and Providers (the “Program”). The Program, established under Section 6201 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”), is a voluntary program that provides grants to states to implement procedures to conduct background checks on prospective long-term care employees. The purpose of the OIG’s Memorandum Report was to report on the results of a survey that was conducted in order to collect baseline data on current background check practices in the long-term care industry.
The OIG surveyed a total of 153 long-term care facility administrators from 10 of the 17 states currently participating in the Program. The results of the survey indicated that 94 percent of the administrators conduct background checks on perspective employees. Of those who conduct background checks, the vast majority (82 percent) utilize state criminal history checks, while some (41 percent) conduct FBI criminal history checks and most (63 percent) use other sources, such as sex offender registries.
While 0nly 4 percent of administrators reported encountering prospective employees who refused to undergo background checks, about one-fourth of the administrators felt that their facilities’ background check procedures possibly reduced the pool of prospective employees. Nevertheless, 81 percent of the administrators surveyed indicated that they have generally had sufficient pools of applicants for job vacancies. Those who have not received applications for job vacancies from qualified individuals cited reasons other than background check procedures for the deficiency (such as lack of requisite education and skills).
Based upon this data, the OIG concluded that background checks on prospective employees and current background check procedures do not appear to significantly reduce the available long-term care workforce in the states that were surveyed. A follow-up survey requesting the same data will be conducted when the Program’s implementation at the state level is complete or nearing completion.
The OIG’s full Memorandum Report can be viewed here —> OIG Report