Healthcare Background Check: Rules and How They Differ Each State

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To properly assess the risk of hiring a new employee, it is necessary to understand the background check policies for healthcare positions. This will help ensure that a person is qualified for the role. Healthcare background checks use various methods to verify education, employment history, and criminal history. Most healthcare jobs require postsecondary education or specialized training, while others only require on-the-job training.

Requirements in Each State

Healthcare background check policies are not required by law in all states, but they are highly recommended. They benefit both employers and employees. However, some employers choose to comply with the minimum required by law instead of performing thorough background checks. Depending on the practice, healthcare background checks can be pre-employment or ongoing. These healthcare background check requirements involve more than a criminal history investigation. Although this may be the aspect of these most frequently observed screenings, it is only part of the process. Despite their appearance, an applicant could still have a criminal record and, therefore, not be suitable for the job.

To conduct a comprehensive background check, healthcare employers can use the Fraud and Abuse Control Information System (FACIS). This database is updated annually and searches hundreds of sources nationwide. Depending on the type of job, these checks can reveal the potential risk of hiring a sex offender. These screenings are vital to avoiding negligent hires and potentially dangerous situations.

Healthcare organizations can benefit from understanding their background check policies to ensure their employees’ safety. These checks can identify red flags if someone has a past criminal conviction or criminal record. Several types of criminal offenses may raise red flags on background checks, including drug abuse, theft, and elder abuse. In addition, certain sexual slurs are likely to lead to denial of employment in healthcare. This is crucial to protect patients and other vulnerable people, such as healthcare workers.

Healthcare background check policies vary between states and practices, but they are often required for certain healthcare providers. In addition, some states require background checks for all employees, including students and volunteers. Organizations should seek advice from their state to ensure their policies comply with state requirements to avoid conflicting regulations.

National Criminal Search

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to create a national program to implement background checks for healthcare providers. The program is meant to be an efficient and effective method to ensure the safety of Medicare beneficiaries. The Act also requires States to comply with background check policies and procedures and provide partial funding for the program.

Healthcare background check policies are critical to the safety and trust of patients. By conducting a thorough background check on prospective healthcare workers, employers can ensure hiring the most qualified professionals for the position. Failure to do so can result in lawsuits and damage the company’s reputation. Furthermore, the stakes are high, as healthcare workers may touch patients’ lives directly. Additionally, these workers frequently work with controlled substances, making them easy targets for abusers and thieves.

Exclusion Lists

Policies for background checks in the healthcare industry should include a list of exclusions and requirements. Debarment lists, federal sanctions, state Medicaid sanction lists, and Office of Inspector General (OIG) lists are a few examples of these lists. Any program for hiring employees, independent contractors, and vendors 

The OIG’s list includes exclusions from the federal government and other federal agencies. Employers should check these lists every month. If an employee is on the list, a healthcare provider cannot pay them. The healthcare provider may need to hire other staff members or independent contractors, depending on the nature of the position.

The OIG exclusion list is regularly updated. Informed decisions can be made, and federal program compliance can be upheld by healthcare employers using this information. Employers can safeguard professional standards and patient safety by using exclusion lists. Employers in the healthcare industry ought to read through these lists and use them in conjunction with thorough criminal background checks.

Rules For Conducting a Background Check

Healthcare background checks can help a healthcare facility determine whether an applicant is trustworthy. This purpose is at the core of healthcare screening, so healthcare employers must conduct background checks on prospective employees at the federal, state, and local levels. This includes contacting licensing boards, schools, and previous employers to verify their records. These background checks take time and care, and healthcare employers should only use reputable third-party background screening vendors. Depending on the position, additional screening services may be necessary, including education verification, employment verification, drug testing, and more.

While healthcare background checks can be performed manually, a background check service can save hospitals a lot of headaches. Moreover, the service also saves healthcare employers the trouble of searching for applicants’ professional licenses and credentials. For example, a background check specialist will contact licensing boards and verify that a candidate is licensed to work in the healthcare industry. Moreover, some states maintain lists of individuals and entities prohibited from working in healthcare. Often, healthcare employers should avoid hiring individuals from these lists since these individuals may pose a risk to the organization.

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