In an effort to prevent abuse and neglect in the long-term care facilities across the country, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently awarded more than $13 million to six states to design comprehensive applicant criminal background check programs for jobs involving direct patient care. The new National Background Check Program will highlight best practices for long-term care providers to determine if a job seeker has any kind of criminal history or other disqualifying information. The process will include a criminal history search of both state and federal abuse and neglect registries and databases, such as the Nurse Aide Registry or FBI files.
The first six states to receive funding include Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Missouri, and Rhode Island. The program, with over $160 million available, will run through September 20102
"Elder abuse and neglect is tragic and intolerable," said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "Workers with a history of abuse or neglect should be identified and prevented from ever working with residents of these facilities."