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Report (OEI-07-10-00421)

01-19-2012
Nationwide Program for National and State Background Checks for Long-Term-Care Employees-Results of Long-Term-Care Provider Administrator Survey

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Summary

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act mandates that OIG submit a report to Congress evaluating the Nationwide Program for National and State Background Checks on Direct Patient Access Employees of Long Term-Care Facilities and Providers not later than 180 days after the program's completion. This memorandum report provides the results of a survey of long-term-care provider administrators. The purpose of the survey was to collect baseline data on current practices regarding conducting background checks on potential employees and the effects on the long-term-care workforce.

As of March 2011, 10 States had been awarded funding under the nationwide program: Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, and Rhode Island. We mailed a survey to a stratified sample of 200 long-term-care provider administrators in these States. We asked about their current procedures for conducting background checks on prospective employees and whether they believe that their background check procedures reduce the pool of prospective employees. We requested workforce data on the number of applicants and the number of persons hired for recently filled positions, if available. Finally, we solicited administrators' opinions regarding the availability and quality of long-term-care applicants.

Survey results indicate that 94 percent of administrators conducted background checks on prospective employees. Only 4 percent of those administrators encountered individuals who were unwilling to undergo a background check. Twenty three percent of administrators believed that their organizations' current background check procedures reduced the pool of prospective employees. Overall, 81 percent of administrators believed that there is a sufficient pool of qualified applicants for job vacancies. However, survey results indicate that 9 percent of administrators did not receive applications from qualified individuals for at least some job vacancies.

Nearly all administrators conduct background checks on prospective employees and current background check procedures do not appear to greatly reduce the available workforce. We plan to use this baseline information in the mandated report to assess the effects of background checks on the availability of long term-care workers.

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