Tag Archives: Healthcare Background Check

Employment Screening Resources Releases Background Check Toolkit for Nursing Homes and Home Health Care

In response to a government investigation that revealed more than nine out of ten nursing homes hired criminals, San Francisco, California-area Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a background screening company accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) – has released background check toolkit for nursing homes and home health care to help them avoid “bad hires” too unqualified, unfit, or dangerous to work with vulnerable populations such as the elderly and infirmed. Continue reading

Safe Hiring Expert Les Rosen to Discuss Background Checks for Home Health Care Workers

Attorney, author, and safe hiring expert Les Rosen, founder and President of San Francisco, CA-area background screening company Employment Screening Resources (ESR), will discuss background checks for home health care workers at a free community forum at the San Rafael Community Center in San Rafael, California on Thursday, March 10, 2011. Continue reading

Kentucky Bill Would Require Criminal Background Checks for All Private Nursing Home Employees

 By Thomas Ahearn, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) News Editor

Proposed legislation in the state of Kentucky would require criminal background checks for all private long-term care facility employees to help to protect elderly and vulnerable Kentucky nursing home residents from being preyed upon by dangerous criminals.

Senate Bill 44 – introduced by Senator Tom Buford (R-Jessamine) – would prohibit any Kentucky long-term care facility, nursing home, or an assisted living community from employing a person who had been convicted of a felony related to:

  • Theft;
  • Abuse or sale of illegal drugs;
  • Abuse, neglect, or exploitation of an adult; or 
  • A sexual crime.

Current Kentucky law requires criminal background checks for all employees at state-run facilities, but only requires criminal background checks for those employees who provide direct care to residents at privately run nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. S.B. 44 – which is currently under review by the Senate Judiciary Committee – would extend the criminal background checks to all employees at private nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.

As reported previously on ESR News, many states are penalizing nursing homes that employ workers with serious criminal records. Recently, an Indiana an operator of nursing homes was hit with $376,000 in penalties for employing individuals at nursing homes who either had been convicted of criminal offenses or stripped of their licenses.

To assist nursing homes and other long-term care facilities conduct safe hiring programs, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a leading provider of background checks accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) – offers a OIG/GSA Name Search which searches the OIG (Office of the Inspector General) Excluded List and GSA (General Services Administration) Sanctions Report for individuals and businesses excluded or sanctioned from participating in Medicare, Medicaid, and other Federally funded programs.

Employment Screening Resources ESR Home Health Care Check provides background screening services specializing in home health care workers in private homes or elder care facitlites. For more information, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/services/homehealthcare.php.

For more information on background checks, visit Employment Screening Resources at http://www.ESRcheck.com.

Founded in 1996 in the San Francisco area, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen and is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) . To learn more about Employment Screening Resources, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com or contact Jared Callahan, ESR Director of Client Relations, at 415.898.0044 or jcallahan@ESRcheck.com.

Sources:

http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/11RS/SB44.htm

http://www.prweb.com/releases/prwebkentucky-nursing-home/abuse-neglect-attorney/prweb5009674.htm

Provider Fined $376,000 in Case Showing Need for Extensive Nursing Home Employee Background Checks

By Thomas Ahearn, ESR News Editor

An Indiana provider has been hit with $376,000 in penalties – which Indiana officials call one of the biggest fines of its kind – for employing several individuals at nursing homes who either had been convicted of criminal offenses or stripped of their licenses.

According to a news report, the fines were larger than usual because the provider – an operator of nursing homes – did not self-report the violations concerning seven employees who were ineligible to work where Medicaid payments were involved. The U.S. Office of the Inspector General (OIG) became aware of the problem in 2009.

A deputy in the office of the counsel to the Inspector General quoted in the news report said the provider “knew or should have known” the employees were excluded from taking part in federal healthcare programs. The deputy also stated that:

  • The majority of ineligible employees had lost their licenses or had their licenses revoked.
  • Violations are self-reported by provider companies in most similar cases.
  • Providers should regularly check lists of contractors and workers who are excluded from participation in government reimbursement programs.

This case reveals the growing need for more extensive nursing home employee background checks, or of any caregivers working with vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly, or those people with special needs. Nursing homes are particularly vulnerable to a higher duty of care to patients. Employers at nursing homes can be sued not only for negligent hiring, but also negligent retention if they knew – or should have known – there was a problem, not to mention negligent supervision.   

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a leading provider of background checks accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) –   offers a search vital for most healthcare industries: the OIG/GSA Name Search.

Together, the OIG (Office of the Inspector General) Excluded List and GSA (General Services Administration) Sanctions Report search the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and OIG databases for individuals and businesses excluded or sanctioned from participating in Medicare, Medicaid, and other Federally funded programs.

ESR also offers expanded health cover searches that cover disciplinary actions taken by federal agencies as well as those taken by licensing and certification agencies in all 50 states. This is the most comprehensive search method available.

Employment Screening Resources ESR Home Health Care Check provides background screening services specializing in home health care workers in private homes or elder care facitlites. For more information, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/services/homehealthcare.php.

For more information, visit Employment Screening Resources at http://www.ESRcheck.com.

Source:
http://www.mcknights.com/provider-to-pay-376000-for-hiring-ineligible-employees/article/193588/

Pre-Employment Background Screening at Missouri Hospital To Include Drug Test for Nicotine

By Thomas Ahearn, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) News Editor

A hospital in Cape Girardeau, Missouri will no longer hire smokers who fail a drug test for nicotine as part of a pre-employment background screening program beginning January 1, 2011, according to a story in the Southeast Missourian newspaper. The new tobacco-free hiring policy – which will not affect current employees – will drug test job applicants for nicotine as part of the hospital’s pre-employment background screening program.

On the “Current Openings” page of the Saint Francis Medical Center website at http://careers.sfmc.net/CurrentOpenings.htm, the following message appears under the heading ‘Nicotine-free hiring policy’ for prospective job candidates:

Because it is important for healthcare providers to promote a healthy environment and lifestyle, effective January 1, 2011, Saint Francis Medical Center has a nicotine-free hiring policy. Applicants will be tested for nicotine as part of a pre-employment screening.

I understand that my application will not be considered if I use tobacco products.

Although Missouri labor law mandates employers cannot refuse to hire and cannot fire an employee for alcohol or tobacco use after working hours off company property, church-related organizations and not-for-profit hospitals – like the Saint Francis Medical Center – are exempt from the code, the Southeast Missourian reported.
 
The hospital’s tobacco-free stance comes at a time when more private-sector employers in the U.S. are prohibiting smoking in their hiring policies. One reason is that employees who smoke can cost their companies $12,000 a year unnecessarily, according to statistics cited by anti-smoking and nonsmoker rights advocates in the story.
 
Nicotine drug tests used during background screening have been challenged in court, the Southeast Missourian reports, but a federal court in Massachusetts ruled public policy favored a smoke-free society over the right of individuals to smoke on their own time.

For more information on pre-employment background screening, visit the Employment Screening Resources (ESR) Services page or the ESR website at http://www.ESRcheck.com.

Founded in 1996 in the San Francisco Bay area, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is the company that wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen. Employment Screening Resources is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) for proving compliance with the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP). For more information about Employment Screening Resources, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com or contact Jared Callahan, ESR Director of Client Relations and Business Development, at 415.898.0044 or jcallahan@ESRcheck.com.

Sources:
http://www.semissourian.com/story/1682223.html
http://careers.sfmc.net/CurrentOpenings.htm

Emergency Department Violence Surveillance Study Finds Over Half of Emergency Nurses Surveyed Experienced Incidents of Workplace Violence

According to a press release from the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA), a recently released study  revealed that more than half of the nurses surveyed by ENA – a mean of 54.8 percent – reported experiencing either physical or verbal abuse at work in the past seven days, which means that every week in the U.S., between approximately eight and 13 percent of emergency department nurses are victims of incidents of workplace violence.

In addition, The Emergency Department Violence Surveillance Study found that 15 percent of emergency nurses who reported experiencing physical violence said they sustained a physical injury as a result of the incident and that, in nearly half of the cases (44.9 percent), no action was taken against the perpetrator of workplace violence. Furthermore, almost three out of four emergency nurses (74.4 percent) who were victims of workplace violence reported that the hospital gave them no response regarding that workplace violence.

More importantly, the study also found that emergency nurses working at hospitals with policies regarding workplace violence reported experiencing fewer incidents of physical or verbal violence. For example:

  • Hospitals with zero-tolerance reporting policies had an 8.4 percent workplace violence rate.
  • Hospitals with a non-zero-tolerance policy had a 12.3 percent workplace violence rate.
  • Hospitals with no policy had an 18.1 percent workplace violence rate.

Based on quarterly surveys of a total of 3,211 emergency nurses across the country from May 2009 to February 2010, The Emergency Department Violence Surveillance Study also found that:

  • Patients and their relatives were the perpetrators of the workplace violence abuse in nearly all incidents of physical violence (97.1 percent) and verbal abuse (91 percent).
  • The majority of incidents of physical violence occurred in patients’ rooms (80.6 percent). 
  • The most frequently reported activities that emergency nurses were involved in when they experienced workplace violence were triaging a patient (38.2 percent), restraining or subduing a patient (33.8 percent), and performing an invasive procedure (30.9 percent).
  • Male nurses reported higher workplace violence rates than female nurses (15 percent versus 10.3 percent).
  • Workplace violence rates were higher in large urban areas (13.4 percent) than in rural areas (8.3 percent). 

As a result of the Surveillance Study findings, ENA – which is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary and serves as the voice of more than 37,000 members and their patients – has urged the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSA) to make its guidelines for preventing workplace violence into mandatory standards that to which all hospital and health care centers must adhere.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Administration (NIOSH) and OSHA define “workplace violence” as any physical assault, threatening behavior, or verbal abuse occurring in the workplace, according to a press release from the California Nurses Association (CNA), and violence includes overt and covert behaviors ranging in aggressiveness from verbal harassment to murder.

Overall, the CNA press release reports that the healthcare industry constituted 45 percent of the two million incidents of workplace violence – the highest of all sectors – that occurred annually in the U.S. between 1993 and 1999, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

As reported earlier on the ESR News Blog, cases of workplace violence are becoming all-too-common during the recent economic downturn, which has created more on-the-job stress for both employers and employees. For more ESR News Blog posts containing information about workplace violence, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/tag/workplace-violence/.

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is the company that wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen. ESR is recognized by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) as Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) Accredited for proving compliance with the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP). For more information, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com.

Sources:
http://www.ena.org/media/PressReleases/Pages/RateofViolence.aspx
http://www.calnurses.org/media-center/press-releases/2010/october/following-the-death-of-a-rn-killed-on-the-job-ca-nurses-call-for-better-protections.html

New Security Survey Finds Nearly One-Third of Healthcare Organizations Had At Least One Known Case of Medical Identity Theft

By Thomas Ahearn, ESR News Blog

A new survey released in November on security at healthcare organizations has revealed that nearly one-third of respondents said their healthcare organization had at least one known case of medical identity theft, and that some cases the medical identity theft may never be reported.

According to the 3rd Annual Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Security Survey, sponsored by Intel, while approximately two-thirds of respondents reported that their healthcare organization had policies and procedures in place addressing security breaches, almost one-third of respondents (31 percent) reported that their healthcare organization had at least one known case of medical identity theft.

Overall, the HIMSS Survey – which interviewed 272 Information Technology (IT) and security professionals at hospitals and medical practices – found that medical practices lagged behind hospitals in nearly every measure of healthcare IT implementation and security. For example:

  • Only 17 percent of respondents working for a medical practice were likely to report a security breach such as medical identity theft at their healthcare organization compared to 38 percent of respondents working for a hospital organization.
  • One-third of medical practices reported they did not conduct a risk analysis.

For the survey, ‘medical identity theft’ was identified as “the use of an individual’s identity-specific information such as name, date of birth, social security number, insurance information, etc. without the individuals’ knowledge or consent to obtain medical services or goods. It may also extend to cases where an individual’s beneficiary information is used to submit false claims in such a manner that an individual’s medical record or insurance standing is corrupted, potentially impacting patient care.”

The 3rd Annual HIMSS Security Survey, sponsored by Intel and supported by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), reports the opinions of IT and security professionals from U.S. healthcare provider organizations on issues surrounding the tools and policies in place to secure electronic patient data at healthcare organizations from security breaches such as medical identity theft.

For more information about identity theft, read the Employment Screening Resources (ESR) News Blog stories tagged ‘identity theft’ at http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/tag/identity-theft/.

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is the company that wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen. ESR is recognized as Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) Accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) for proving compliance with the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP). For more information about Employment Screening Resources, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com.

Source:
http://www.himss.org/content/files/2010_HIMSS_SecuritySurvey.pdf

Connecticut Receiving $2 Million in Federal Funds for Caregiver Background Checks to Protect Elderly and Disabled

By Thomas Ahearn, ESR News Blog

Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell has announced that the state is receiving a $2 million federal health care grant to design a comprehensive caregiver background check program for employees of nursing homes and other long-term care agencies to further strengthen protections for elderly and disabled residents.

According to a news release from the Governor, Connecticut is one of six states to receive the federal grant through the Affordable Care Act to bolster protection of nursing home residents with caregiver background checks. The background check program will help identify whether job seekers have any kind of criminal history or other disqualifying information that could make them unsuitable to work directly with residents.

Governor Rell stated that the funds “will allow Connecticut to have one of the most comprehensive background checks in the nation.” The Connecticut state Departments of Public Health (DPH) and Public Safety (DPS) will work together on the initiative.

The new law set aside $160 million for the program, which is to run through September 2012. The other five states awarded grants in addition for Connecticut are Alaska, Delaware, Florida, Missouri, and Rhode Island. 

The national background check for each prospective direct patient care employee will include a history search of both state and federal criminal records, abuse and neglect registries, and databases such as the Nurse Aide Registry. Long-term care facilities or providers covered under the new program include:

  • Nursing facilities,
  • Home health agencies,
  • Hospice providers,
  • Long-term care hospitals,
  • Intermediate care facilities for persons with mental retardation,
  • Adult day care, and
  • Personal care assistants.

For more information about caregiver background checks, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) at http://www.ESRcheck.com.

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) literally wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen. ESR is recognized as Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) Accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) for proving compliance with the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP). For more information about Employment Screening Resources, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com.

Source:
http://www.ct.gov/governorrell/cwp/view.asp?A=3872&Q=467624