Kentucky accepted a $3 million federal grant to create a system for more thorough background checks of nursing home employees. The state Cabinet for Health and Family Services will purchase equipment to conduct digital fingerprint background checks on potential hires. The National Background Check Program was created out of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or the federal health care reform law.
The live scan equipment will enable the use of fingerprints in both in-state and FBI criminal background checks of applicants for hire at nursing homes, intermediate care and Alzheimer’s facilities, personal and family care homes, home health agencies, hospice care providers, long-term care hospitals, personal services agencies, assisted living facilities, adult day care providers, intermediate care facilities for people with developmental disabilities and mental retardation and other long-term care providers.
Current state law requires long-term care facilities to conduct only name-based background checks on prospective employees.
The Kentucky Department of Community Based Services received 13,491 reports of suspected abuse of people older than 60 in fiscal year 2010, the largest number since the statistic was first recorded in 2006. Of those, the department investigated 7,365 of those complaints, of which more than 1,859 were substantiated, according to the 2010 Elder Abuse Report produced by the CHFS.