Why Background Checks are Important When Hiring a Caregiver

By on December 17, 2020
background checks

When a caregiver enters a person’s home, especially that of a vulnerable person, trust is of paramount importance regardless of the type of care they provide. Caregiver background checks, like those Check People offer, can help minimize the risk for both individuals and companies hiring caregivers.   

What a Background Check can Unearth 

The LEIE (List of Excluded Individuals and Entities), available on the Office of Inspector General (OIG) website, shows names of people who are not allowed to work as care providers. This is the case for a number of reasons. They may have committed patient neglect or abuse or Medicare or Medicaid fraud. License revocation, suspension, or surrender and certain misdemeanor and felony convictions will render them ineligible to practice. 

This information is also available from the neglect and abuse registry in the state or states where the person has worked as a caregiver.  

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A search of the FBI’s fingerprint database will uncover all crimes that have been reported to the Bureau. These can include theft, fraud convictions related to healthcare, any incidences of financial misconduct, Medicare or Medicaid fraud, or illegal production, distribution, dispensing, or prescription of drugs. 

How to Perform a Background Check

Hire a credit reporting agency with PBSA accreditation to help you. The Professional Background Screeners Association is the only establishment providing accreditation to these companies. This will not only make your job easier but also ensure compliance with the provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. 

According to this law, you need to inform a job applicant that you will run a background check. You need to use an official disclosure form and get their consent to the check-in writing. If you choose not to hire someone based on the background check report, you must adhere to the adverse action process. In addition, your state might have further requirements and fair hiring laws. 

You can’t perform a background check without certain information from the prospective caregiver, such as their address, date of birth, full name, and Social Security number. Any professional licenses or degrees and their driver’s license number might be required depending on job tasks and responsibilities. 

Adhere to Best Practices  

When hiring a caregiver, individuals and businesses should follow the best industry practices for care provider background checks. These include education and employment verifications to confirm the candidate was honest and does indeed possess the qualifications, education, and experience needed for the job. A criminal records check might reveal misdemeanor or felony convictions, indicating the applicant may be a risk to a vulnerable patient and their loved ones. 

In some cases, employers perform drug screening to check for substances that would make the applicant dangerous to patients. According to the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), you should conduct drug screening only after offering the candidate a job. They agree that if they don’t pass the test, they don’t get the job. 

Best practices extend to performing ongoing background checks after hiring the caregiver. Regular drug testing, continuous criminal record checks, and post-hire background checks can all protect care recipients and companies from risk. 

If the job involves running errands for patients or transporting them, you’ll have to check your candidate’s driving record. To check for license suspensions, moving violations, DUI stops, and questionable driving behavior in general, get in touch with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. A motor vehicle record check will also verify the driver’s license.

Recent Legislative Developments  

State legislatures are making more and more efforts to regulate caregivers’ activity. In Georgia, a background check program law came into force at the end of 2019, under which caregivers have to undergo national background checks if they want to work with seniors directly.

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Why Background Checks are Important When Hiring a Caregiver