Nursing Home Loss Control: Are Stricter Background Checks Needed?

Nursing Home Loss Control Are Stricter Background Checks NeededNursing Home Loss Control: Are Stricter Background Checks Needed?

In Oklahoma, new legislation recently took effect requiring nursing homes and other health care providers to use more stringent screening processes for filling certain jobs. As of a decade ago, an estimated 30% of nursing homes in the United States (over 5,000 facilities) experienced about 9,000 cases of elderly abuse of some kind. Although conditions have greatly improved in the majority of these nursing homes over the years, abuse and neglect are still very real problems, and issues that are being addressed, at least by Oklahoma.

As a form of Nursing Home Loss Control, the Oklahoma Long Term Care Security Act (HB 2582) prohibits certain employers from hiring, retaining, or granting clinical privileges to individuals who’ve been convicted of designated criminal offenses. The new background check requirements apply to adult day care centers, residential care homes, nursing facilities, continuum of care and assisted living facilities, hospice programs, Medicare-certified home health agencies, and more.

The type of jobs that will require stricter background checks under HB 2582 include jobs that will or may involve one-on-one contact with patients on an ongoing basis, including access to the patient or resident’s property, medical information or financial information. Even if these stringent employee screening processes aren’t required in your state, the question is, should they be?

Experts recommend that managers and owners of assisted living facilities exercise nursing home loss control by taking the following steps to screen nursing home employees:

  • Perform a comprehensive criminal background check in all counties where your job candidate has lived under each name they’ve used.
  • Make sure your background screening provider searches both upper and lower courts and goes back as far as federal and state laws allow.
  • Conduct a National Criminal Database search to identify any potential criminal activity which has taken place outside of the counties you are searching.
  • Conduct a Sex Offender Registry Check.
  • Contact past employers to ensure your job candidate has been truthful about their experience.

At DigniCARE, we understand that Nursing Home Loss Control is a critical component of your Risk Management program. Our values-based risk management program helps you increase resident safety, satisfaction and census, and reduce staff workload and turnover. Please contact us today at (855) 883-6306 to learn how we can make a difference for your operation.

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