VICTIG’s articles of the week
Here are two great articles we found this week. Both of these articles are a reminder to not take short cuts when you are doing background screening. We always tell our clients that only doing just a national criminal database search isn’t enough and also is not compliant. There is really too much liability with only doing a database search when you are vetting potential employees. I wont ramble on but both of these articles are a good read.
taken from www.mcknights.com
by James Berklan January 03, 2011
Provider to pay $376,000 for hiring ineligible employees
In a case that is sure to fuel the push for more extensive nursing home employee background checks, an Indiana provider has been slapped with $376,000 in penalties for employing seven individuals who either had been stripped of their licenses or convicted of criminal offenses.
Indiana officials are calling it one of the biggest fines of its kind, ballooned by the fact that the provider, American Senior Companies, did not self-report the violations. ASC is the operator of nursing homes owned by a public agency that runs the Marion County Health Department and Wishard Memorial Hospital.
The seven employees in question were ineligible to work where Medicaid payments were involved. The U.S. Office of the Inspector General became aware of the problem in early 2009 after being notified by the Indiana Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, a division of the Office of the Indiana Attorney General.
“The settlement that American Senior Communities LLC of Indianapolis agreed to pay is the largest settlement agreement the Indiana Attorney General’s Office has received in a Medicaid excluded-provider case to date,” Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said.
ASC “knew or should have known” the seven employees were excluded from taking part in federal healthcare programs, said Steve Solomon, a deputy in the office of the counsel to the Inspector General. The majority of those ineligible had either lost their licenses or had them revoked, he explained.
In most similar cases, violations are self-reported by provider companies, Solomon said. It is incumbent upon providers to regularly check lists of contractors and workers who are excluded from participation in government reimbursement programs, he said.
by Lester Rosen
EMPLOYERS DISCOVER FAST AND CHEAP ONLINE BACKGROUND CHECKS USING CRIMINAL DATABASES NOT ALWAYS ACCURATE OR LEGAL
According to an age old platitude, “If something looks too good to be true, it probably is,” so employers should be wary of fast and cheap online criminal background checks that promise accurate and legal information on job applicants at the click of a mouse or the touch of a screen.
The need for accurate and reliable information should be obvious to anyone dealing with background checks. Even so, numerous internet sites have sprung up recently promising cheap, almost instant background checks that deliver criminal information to anyone, anywhere, and in seconds. These sites utilize a so-called “national criminal database” and vendors of such databases typically claim to have compiled millions of records from every state so users can know instantly if someone is a criminal at a very low price.
Although a multi-state records database can be a powerful tool when used by a qualified employment screening firm as part of an overall background check, employers who think they are getting a real criminal background check can be in for a rude awaking when they discover that such searches are far from the real thing. Applicants with criminal records can easily be missed, while people without records can be incorrectly identified as criminals. Both results carry negative financial and legal implications for employers.
Employers using these databases for employment purposes need to understand the limitations and legal exposure associated with using them or risk finding themselves embroiled in litigation. Employers are quickly discovering that fast and cheap online background checks using criminal databases not always accurate or legal.