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WV Launches New Comprehensive Background System for Nursing Home Employees

WTRF

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 2.18.30 PMBy WTRF Staff

A new background screening program for nursing home workers in West Virginia has gone into effect, according to the Department of Health and Human Resources.

The program, West Virginia Clearance for Access: Registry and Employment Screening (WV CARES), requires applicants for jobs with access to resident of beneficiaries of long-term care services to undergo fingerprint-based state and national criminal history checks.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed legislation creating the program on April 2, 2015.  The legislation passed both houses of the West Virginia legislature unanimously and had the backing of the West Virginia Health Care Association and the West Virginia State Police.

According to West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Cabinet Secretary Karen L. Bowling, the new checks are required of all prospective direct access personnel who apply for positions in the following provider types: skilled nursing facilities; nursing facilities; home health agencies; providers of hospice care, long-term care hospitals, personal care services, adult day care; and residential care providers that arrange for or directly provide long-term care services, including assisted living facilities, and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

WV CARES will be phased in over a six-month period beginning in August.  All providers will be using the new screening system by the beginning of 2016.

“The new program will reduce the potential for abuse, neglect and exploitation of the elderly and other vulnerable adults by ensuring that individuals with certain criminal histories will not become direct access workers in long-term care in the Mountain State,” Bowling said.