What You Need to Know About Healthcare Background Checks

September 30, 2020

Carrying out a background check on potential workers is a crucial step in ensuring that your workplace, customers, and company are safe. This is especially important for employers in the healthcare sector. 

The medical field has significant potential for unprofessional or even criminal conduct, including opioid abuse, and patient abuse and neglect. Background checks are essential to ensure the safety of all patients and staff. Failure to conduct background checks may result in litigation, injuries, or severe harm to a medical facility's reputation and integrity.

In this post, we'll discuss the importance of background checks and which checks are best for the healthcare industry. 

Why are Healthcare Background Checks Important? 

Health care staff are responsible for the health, safety, and privacy of their patients. Conducting a background check on new employees can help ensure that they have the right professional credentials and do not pose a threat to your patients and businesses.

Here are some of the reasons why health care employers should carry out background checks:
  • Protect patient safety – background checks can help identify people who may pose a safety risk to patients.
  • Maintain compliance – healthcare companies have specific requirements regarding what background checks need to be run to remain compliant. Failure to meet these requirements may result in a sanction and restriction from participating in federal and state health programs.
What Background Checks Are Needed for the Healthcare Industry? 

Background screening in healthcare is one of the most critical factors in protecting your organization against negligence, abuse, and workplace crime.

Typical Components of Healthcare Background Checks include:

  • Criminal Records Check: will detect any criminal convictions such as fraud or medical malpractice that can pose a risk to your patients and business. 
  • Professional License Verification: many healthcare positions, such as medical assistants and nurses, require some license. Performing a license verification helps confirm that they have the required qualification and any disciplinary action. 
  • Education Verification. The majority of jobs in the healthcare field require a degree or some technical training. Verifying a candidate's education ensures that they have the required training needed. 
  • Employment Verification. Employment verification ensures that potential healthcare workers have the experience you require. 
Additional Considerations

Some healthcare positions require additional screening such as adult and child abuse, government watchlists, and/or healthcare sanction checks.

What are state adult and child abuse checks? 

The Adult and Child Abuse Search is a publicly available list of individuals who have been charged with actions against an adult or child within that state. While this search is not available in all states, it does provide additional insight into candidates seeking to work with "vulnerable" populations at health care facilities.

 
What is a government watchlist Check?

Watchlist checks are specialized searches of the government sanction databases. These searches are used to identify individuals who are prohibited from certain activities or industries.

These checks are often required in regulated industries such as healthcare and financial services.

 
What is Healthcare Sanctions Checks?

Companies and organizations in the healthcare industry must maintain compliance with state and federal hiring regulations. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) prohibits healthcare companies from hiring anyone sanctioned from participating in federal programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.

Healthcare Sanctions Checks search a proprietary database consisting of publicly available records of sanctions and adverse healthcare field actions. Individuals in this database are prohibited from participating in Medicare, Medicaid, and federally funded healthcare programs. 

Here are some examples of healthcare sanction to consider: 

  • The List of Excluded Individuals/Entities (LEIE): A list maintained by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Inspector General (OIG). Provides information about individuals and entities that are not allowed to receive payment by specified federal healthcare programs (including but not limited to Medicare and Medicaid). The basis for an individual or entity to be included in the LEIE list include but are not limited to: program-related fraud, patient abuse, some licensing board actions, default on Health Education Assistance loans.
  • Fraud and Abuse Control Information System®: Publicly available records of sanctions and adverse taken in the healthcare field. There are two levels available:
    • FACIS M: includes the above and state specific Medicare and Medicaid data where available.
    • FACIS 3: includes the above and records contained in the database for all state sources.
  • Federal Drug Administration Debarment List: Identifies individuals convicted of a felony under federal law for conduct relating to development or approval of any drug product or otherwise relating to any drug product under the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
  • Office of Foreign Asset Control, Specialty Designated Nationals List (OFAC/SDN): Individuals that are prohibited from employed by US employers because they:
    • Act for or on behalf of target countries.
    • Are Terrorists or narcotics traffickers.
Ready to get started with healthcare background checks? 

At Orange Tree, we create custom background check packages designed for your industry and business needs. We know the many challenges that you face during the hiring process and can help you decide what background checks are best to meet your unique hiring goals. 

Want to learn more about how our team can be of service to your organization? Schedule a call today.

Topics: Background Screening, Compliance, Featured

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