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Senate bill proposes national database access for nursing home employees' background checks

Senate bill proposes national database access for nursing home employees' background checks Photo: MGN.

WHECTV
Created: October 22, 2019 09:20 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The federal government wants all states to use a national database to conduct background checks on potential nursing home employees.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand introduced legislation Tuesday that would allow it.

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The legislation would give all nursing home providers access to a federal database that would make background checks cheaper and more comprehensive.

Right now, hospitals, medical boards and law firms are allowed to use the database, but long-term care facilities are not.

Gillibrand says that if nursing homes could use it, they could re-allocate some resources to provide better care.

She said she was inspired to introduce the legislation after seeing some of News10MBC's reporting and other stories from around the state on the care and conditions inside some nursing homes.

"In recent months, I have been horrified by the numerous reports of neglect and abuse of older adults and long-term care patients, reports of medical providers ignoring residents’ concerns and needs, leaving them in unsanitary conditions and even sexually abusing them are despicable," Gillibrand said.

The state does have rules and regulations about checking the backgrounds of employees, but most nursing homes hire private companies to use the FBI system, which doesn't track malpractice or disciplinary actions like this data does.  

The bill has bipartisan support in the Senate but still needs a sponsor in the house.


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