Monday, June 10, 2013

Ohio to Increase Funding for Background Checks on Caregivers

By Jill Scott

This week I came across the article Ohio to bolster checks on home health care workers on  Not only has the state of Ohio received $2.1 million in federal grant money to use towards background checks for home health caregivers, but the state has said that it will also pitch in $700,000 to help boost access to background information on caregivers to direct-care providers.  This funding means more access to the AG’s fingerprint database.  The electronic system will allow for faster background checks and immediate notifications of a caregiver’s arrest or conviction.
Upon further research, a press release from the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation dated May 15, 2013, stated the following:
Ohio will use the funds to extend use of the Ohio Attorney General’s Retained Applicant Fingerprint Database Information Exchange (RAPBACK) system to individuals who are working as direct-care providers.  The electronic system will make post-hiring background checks timelier and less burdensome, saving time and money for taxpayers and home-health provider agencies and improving safety for individuals who receive Medicaid services in their own home or other community-based setting.
The RAPBACK system monitors and reports post-hiring convictions in real time, allowing offenders with disqualifying convictions to be removed from their jobs immediately. The three-year demonstration for home-care workers who are required to obtain background checks will begin July 1 and will also include:
· Implementation of recently enacted statutory requirements for uniformity and consistency in background checks;
·   training and technical support for appropriate use of RAPBACK technology;
·   the creation of a web-based avenue to access national and state registries; and
·  an ongoing dialogue and partnership between key state agencies, providers and stakeholder groups regarding additional ways to ensure consumer safety.
You can read the entire press release here.
Obviously this is great news for direct-care providers in Ohio and we can only hope that other states will follow suit, if they haven’t already.
Providers in Ohio, can you tell us what you have heard about this funding?
Providers in other states, what are your states doing, if anything, to help the background check process in your state?
To help providers in all states learn about the importance of background checks, Caregiver Quality Assurance is sponsoring a live web conference on June 13th at 4:00 eastern when Travis Fink and McKinsie Piepho of National Crime Search will join us and discuss “The Six Things You Need to Know About Criminal Background Checks”.  We hope you’ll join us on June 13th!

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