Since every patient’s wellbeing depends on the professionalism of each health care professional, background checks are crucial for healthcare outcomes. Healthcare background checks help make certain that dishonest, disqualified people are not employed by healthcare facilities. In this way, healthcare background checks can prevent tragedies, such as the case of Charles Cullen, a nurse who murdered forty patients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Furthermore, failing to run healthcare background screenings puts hospitals and other healthcare facilities at risk of being sued for negligent hiring.
Following, you’ll find a list of investigations that ought to be incorporated in healthcare background checks. Even though the prospect of running health care professional background checks in-house is possible, most hospitals and other facilities choose to contract with third party background screening firms instead. Typically, outsourcing healthcare background checks is the more cost-effective approach.
1. OIG-GSA Examination
Both the OIG and the GSA are offices in the federal government. The OIG exclusion list quantifies those who have been banned from working in Medicare, while the GSA list shows those who are barred from winning government contracts. Patient abuse, fraud, unsavory licensing board actions and default on student loans can land a healthcare professional on these lists. The Excluded Parties List System lists GSA and OIG exclusions, as well as those of the DEA and the FDA, so it is an excellent tool for those running health care professional background screenings.
2. Criminal Background History
Court history should be established as part of a healthcare background check. Those with significant criminal history are not safe hires. Thoroughly checking a person’s criminal history is more time consuming that you might imagine, as complete healthcare background screenings should include:
a. DHA and SSA I-9 information, to verify work eligibility,
b. An investigation of financial judgments such as liens, to establish personal character,
c. A review of sexual offender databases, as created under Megan’s Law,
d. A record of driving history, particularly if the employee will be driving as part of his or her regular duties,
e. Criminal and civil court history on federal, state, and county levels, according to the applicants’ residential history,
f. Verification of the potential hire’s social security number, to ensure that the applicant is using his or her own identity,
g. Credit history, as another method of sketching personal character.
3. NPDB Check
The National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) can provide invaluable information on the on-the-job history of a health care professional. Background checks should include a NBDB check for malpractice suits, restricted clinical privileges, and any licensure limitations.
4. FACIS Review
FACIS, or the Fraud and Abuse Control Information System, catalogues healthcare workers who have seen disciplinary action from federal agencies. FACIS also includes licensing and certification data from every state in the union.
5. HIPDB Analysis
If your potential hire has been mixed up in healthcare fraud, you’ll find out in the Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank (HIPDB). All thorough healthcare background checks should include a search of the HIPDB.
Clearly, running thorough healthcare background screenings requires a good deal of specialized knowledge. Considering that the average employee would spend dozens of hours researching the requirements of health care professional background checks, and figuring out how to access relevant background information, it’s no wonder that most healthcare facilities choose to outsource this important aspect of healthcare hiring.