The following information was provided by Tom Simmons, Policy Manager, Ohio Department of Aging, specifically for HME providers. This is a follow-up to an article published in 1/08/13 OAMES Bulletin regarding Ohio's new regulations regarding criminal background checks effective 1/01/13.
For additional information, go to http://aging.ohio.gov/information/rules/
The reforms created by H.B.487 and the ensuing rules did not change the definition of “direct care.” The previous and new statutes and rules required all direct-care staff to undergo a criminal records check from BCII when they are applicants under final consideration for employment for the direct-care position. Having access to consumer’s personal records was defined as “direct care” in the previous statutes and rules and is still defined as such in the new statutes and rules. Thus, any applicant under final consideration for employment in a direct-care position—even if the position only involves having access to consumer’s personal records—requires a criminal records check from BCII.
Here’s what’s new in the new statutes and rules related to your question:
1. A responsible entity (you) may not employ or retain the employment of a person in a position to provide direct care—even if the position only involves having access to consumer’s personal records—unless the person is not disqualified by his/her criminal record according to the criteria in the rules. Thus, no person may hold their current position if you never checked them before. That should have never happened because the previous statutes and rules required such a check.
2. A responsible entity must check each current employee who provides direct care at least once every five years (plus 30 days), with three exceptions. One of the exceptions is for a position whose only direct care is having access to consumer’s personal records. So, while a responsible entity must check a direct-care employee whose only direct care is having access to consumer’s personal records at least once (when they applied), the statutes and rules do not require any subsequent checks on that person so long as the only direct care they continue to provide is having access to consumer’s records.
OAMES members should refer to the member Bulletin emailed 1/08/13 for additional background information. Please contact Kam Yuricich at email@example.com if you have any questions.