Although long-term care providers have been required to perform criminal background checks for many years, the national data base is not accessible to providers. In a recent article published in Provider Magazine, Mark Parkinson, CEO of AHCA/NCAL and David Gifford, MD, Senior Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs at AHCA discussed a recent OIG report on the effectiveness of the background check programs.
The OIG reviewed the background check programs in 11 states that concluded their participation in the National Background Check Program (NBCP) in 2017 and 2018. In doing so, the OIG said it found “varied success” with state efforts, with most of the states hampered by a lack of legislative authority to get backs fully in place”.
This may not be a surprise to you; however, it is troubling! If we are to prevent “bad actors” from working in our centers we need a consistent, proven way to screen employees and have easy, immediate access to the information! The OIG and AHCA/NCAL have made several recommendations to CMS regarding this issue and continue to provide information that would support allowing providers to access the information. Until then, work diligently at maintaining your internal systems for background checks, respond appropriately to allegations of abuse/neglect and ensure consistent compliance with your centers policies.