Q&A with Patricia Rogers
Law requires stringent screening of certain health care employees
Q: New legislation soon takes effect requiring nursing homes and other health care providers to use much more stringent screening processes for filling certain jobs. What are the requirements and which employers are affected?
A: The Oklahoma Long Term Care Security Act (HB 2582) prohibits certain employers from hiring, retaining, or granting clinical privileges to individuals who've been convicted of designated criminal offenses, sanctioned by their applicable licensing body, or listed on offender registries. The act mandates that the employers perform a screening and fingerprint-based national background check prior to employment. A “name-based” criminal background check by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation will no longer be sufficient. The new requirements apply to adult day care centers, residential care homes, nursing facilities, continuum of care and assistant living facilities, hospice programs, Medicare-certified home health agencies, intermediate care facilities for disabled adults, staffing agencies and independent contractors who provide employees to staff these facilities and programs, and certain state employees.
Q: What kinds of jobs will require greater screening scrutiny?
A: Jobs that will or may involve one-on-one contact with patients on an ongoing basis, including access to the patient or resident's property, medical information or financial information.
Q: Can you generally describe the screening and background check process?