The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) has awarded $13 million to six states – Alaska, Conn, Del., Fla., Mo., R.I. – to perform technology-driven background checks for certain long-term care providers.
This is a legislatively mandated Federal program, a part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The purpose of the program is to identify efficient, effective and economical procedures for long-term care facilities and providers to conduct background checks on prospective direct care employees. This includes those employed in facilities or who have a contract with a provider that involves one-on-one contact with a patient or resident. States must guarantee non-Federal funds to cover a portion of the cost to conduct the program in their State.
So here’s where I am struggling:
- Where will the states obtain the money for their portion of the program?æ
- With each state running pilots, who is determining best practices that can eventually be used be all states?
- How will this affect recruitment of staff?æ
Make no mistake. We absolutely need these background checks. But they need to able to be done in a consistent and affordable fashion.
For those investigating care for your elderly loved ones, make sure to ask the provider you are investigating whether they perform criminal background checks on employees. And ask what that entails. That can help safeguard you and your loved one.