The Senate Finance Committee yesterday voted unanimously to approve legislation called “The Patient Safety and Abuse Prevention Act.” This act would strengthen how background checks are currently conducted for nursing homes and home health care agencies. The bill is focused on those who work with elderly patients. Senate Bill S. 1577 has been passed by this committee and will move on to a full Senate vote. If passed it will create a consistent nationwide system for background checks.
Currently, seven states are part of a pilot program to test this method that has been in place for five years. According to an article in Modern Health care:
Forty-one states require criminal background checks on most aides prior to employment, but only half of those require criminal background checks at the federal level. In 2004, state agencies reported that they received more than 500,000 reports of elder and vulnerable adult abuse.
The full text of the Committee Print can be found here.