Long-term care workers, whom could be defined as home care aides, home health care nurses, staff at assisted living and nursing homes, and more may soon be subject to a more intensive background screening process in Georgia. A bill that would require tougher screening for these long-term care workers has passed the house and senate and is making its way to Governor Nathan Deal’s desk. He is expected to sign it into law.
Assuming the governor does sign this legislation, it would go into effect October 1, 2019. The bill would be applied to organizations or entities that have direct access to residents or for applicants to jobs that would have direct access. This will include, but not be limited to, assisted living communities, home health care agencies, personal care homes, nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, private workers, adult day care centers, and hospice facilities.
This new law would, according to an 82-page annual report delivered to the governor in February, help the state become more aligned with regard to hiring of these workers as neighboring states.
As reported by McKnight’s Senior Living, in the blog, Governor expected to sign bill requiring tougher long-term care worker background checks:
“Currently, the council said, the state uses a name-based query system to review long-term care applicants to see whether they have been convicted of crimes in the state. Under he passed legislation, employers will be required to submit fingerprints to the FBI database in addition to searching state and national databases of criminal records and searching the nurse aide registry (as applicable), the state sexual offender registry and other registries.
Facilities will not be permitted to employ anyone against whom there is a substantiated finding of neglect, abuse or misappropriation of property or whose license is not in good standing (if applicable to the job that he or she would hold).”
These new hiring demands for background screening would apply to more than simply direct care workers, such as home care aides and visiting nurses. It would also apply to maintenance staff, dietitians, housekeepers, volunteers who would have direct access to residents in various facilities, and others.
As more people demand better oversight for a variety of long-term care support services, for whom seniors are the largest client base, states like Georgia are answering the call and with these expanded background checks, the hope is that this will help minimize risk of clients being exposed to threats posed by some prospective hires who have a suspicious or criminal background or history.
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