CT’s Long-Term Care Background Checks
There are big changes to the way background checks for employees and volunteers for long-term care facilities are conducted, according to the Connecticut Department of Public Health. The changes to existing screening procedures are being implemented as a way to ensure the residents of these facilities are protected from harm.
Job candidates in the running for positions requiring direct patient care and volunteers are subject to mandatory national employee background checks according to Connecticut law. These reviews will search the state and federal registries, databases and records for instances of abuse, neglect and criminal activity.
Applicant Background Check Management System
The state was able to establish the new program’s new screening system, the Applicant Background Check Management System (ABCMS), with the help of P.A. 11-242, a grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for the National Background Check Program and the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP).
ABCMS will be used by nursing homes, residential homes, home health agencies, assisted living facilities and services agencies, intermediate care facilities for the developmentally disabilities, long-term care hospitals and hospice providers.
“With this system, Connecticut has implemented an important safeguard which will help protect the health and safety of some of our most vulnerable residents and clients,” said DPH Commission Dr. Jewel Mullen. “We owe a debt of gratitude to former state Senator Edith Prague for sponsoring legislation authorizing the program, as well as our colleagues at CMS, DESPP, OPM and the staff at DPH for their dedication and tireless efforts to ensure its successful implementation.”
The ABCMS makes the necessity to conduct such thorough background checks even easier thanks to the convenient web portal that long-term care facilities and care providers will be able to use. The portal enables them to submit the information required to conduct searches and received the results based upon fingerprint checks, criminal records checks and other registries relevant to the industry. Connecticut now joins states like West Virginia by requiring all long-term care facilities to register with the ABCMS if they are required to participate in the state’s background check program.
“The ABCMS represents a cutting edge background check management service which allows both the agency and long term care providers the ability to track the background check status on applicants in real time,” said DPH Principal Attorney and leader of DPH’s management program, Matthew Antonetti. “In our first two weeks of operation, we processed over 300 fingerprint-based background checks.”
The ABCMS will be overseen by DPH with DESPP teaming up with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to manage the fingerprinting and criminal history background checks.