West Virginia: Applicant screening working

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​A screening program for assisted living and other workers with direct access to long-term care residents in West Virginia has flagged nine job applicants as not eligible for employment since its Aug. 1 launch, according to the state Department of Health and Human Resources. Three of the people whose applications were flagged were wanted for crimes in other states, and state police arrested one of them in less than two hours after being notified.

WV CARES—West Virginia Clearance for Access: Registry and Employment Screening—requires certain job applicants to be fingerprinted for state and federal background checks. Specifically, the new checks are required of all prospective direct-access personnel applying for positions with 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, as well as positions in skilled nursing facilities, nursing facilities, home health agencies, hospice programs, long-term care hospitals, personal care service companies and adult day care programs.

The program, administered by Department of Health and Human Resources and in partnership with the West Virginia State Police Criminal Investigation Bureau, is being phased in. All providers will be required to use the new screening system by the beginning of 2016.

West Virginia's long-term care facilities are home to approximately 12,000 residents and employ about 18,000 direct-access workers. The state is one of 26 states and territories that received a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for the National Background Check Program.

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