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Nursing Home Stakeholders Favor Background Check Standards for Workers

March 20, 2014

Nursing home stakeholders were supportive of a national background check system for direct-care workers, according to a March 7 memorandum released by a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) work group.

A provision of the Affordable Care Act created the work group, which is tasked with identifying “efficient, effective, and economical” ways that nursing homes can conduct worker background checks on a national basis, the memorandum states.

Last year, the work group sought public comments from stakeholders — health care associations, individuals, provider and consumer advocacy organizations, and others — about its proposals.

The work group, for example, suggested that certain categories of felony and misdemeanor convictions should disqualify direct-care workers from being hired. The “majority of commenters were supportive of this option’s categorical approach,” the memorandum says.

Several stakeholders also showed support for the idea that certain other less-serious convictions could be dismissed after potential workers demonstrate that they have been rehabilitated.

— by Matthew Ozga

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