Kansas starts care home fingerprint checks
18 May 2018 15:45 GMT

Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer signed into law Thursday a bill authorising the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services’ (KDADS) Health Occupations Credentialing program to conduct national fingerprint-based background checks on individuals.

The law covers anyone seeking to work in adult care homes or home health
agencies or to provide services through one of the state’s seven home- and community-based services Medicaid waivers.

“This bill is a common-sense measure that will help to protect vulnerable Kansans. I was pleased to sign this important legislation because it closes a loophole that could allow caretakers to victimize disabled or elderly Kansans. Expanding our fingerprint-based background checks makes all of those receiving care safer,”
Governor Colyer said.

“This will allow us to carry out a more thorough check of individuals who work caring for the vulnerable in our state,” KDADS Secretary Tim Keck said. “Currently, there are approximately 8,000 individuals working in Kansas adult care homes who reside in a state that borders Kansas. The national background fingerprint check will ensure that records of crimes committed in other states are available for review before individuals can be hired, regardless of their state of residence.”

The bill signed by Governor Colyer amends three existing criminal record-check statutes to align all the offenses and timeframes that disqualify or prohibit an individual from working in any of those health care settings and sets a length of time after conviction of a disqualifying crime must pass before the individual is eligible to be employed in those settings. Alignment of the prohibited offenses and timeframes creates parity for all potential workers because all are held to the same standards.