5 Reasons Why Healthcare Background Checks Are Essential
Healthcare organizations depend on their employees to keep patients safe. It is why background checks should include professional/license verifications and employment history & education verifications. These searches help validate applicants’ experience and credentials claims on their resumes.
In addition, federal exclusion searches can help to ensure a healthcare employer does not hire someone who could be banned from receiving federal funding.
Healthcare is a susceptible industry, so extensive background checks are essential. Those working in the field must possess a high level of skill, judgment, discretion, and ethical decision-making. Bringing in irresponsible employees could expose patients to harm, and comprehensive screenings help prevent this by revealing any dishonesty or inappropriate behavior.
The most common healthcare background checks include criminal history, drug-related offenses, fraud, and professional license verification. These searches help identify candidates with a history of violence, theft, or substance abuse. Additionally, they can reveal any registered sex offenders, which is particularly important given the power imbalance in doctor-patient relationships.
A federal exclusion search identifies candidates barred from participating in government-funded programs. This is critical to protect your organization from potential audits and fines. Many healthcare employers conduct role-specific checks, which evaluate metrics specific to specific roles. A motor vehicle record check may not be relevant to doctors and nurses but is vital for ambulance drivers.
Prevent Fraud and Abuse
Healthcare facilities, like hospitals and specialty clinics, rely on comprehensive background checks to ensure patient safety. A full range of examinations are conducted, from criminal histories to verifications that examine education, employment history, and professional license status. Taking the time to screen new hires thoroughly can help prevent healthcare fraud and abuse that can hurt patients in various ways.
Healthcare workers often have direct contact with vulnerable patients, making sex offender searches an essential part of any healthcare background check policy. Other red flags that healthcare employers look for include convictions for theft, fraud, elder or patient abuse, and drug offenses. Healthcare providers also conduct OIG, SAM, LEIE, and state Medicaid and Medicare fraud exclusion sanctions screening on an ongoing basis for current employees to ensure compliance with federal regulations.
The healthcare industry is highly regulated, and it’s not uncommon for the same person to work in multiple settings, including private practice medical offices, clinics, and hospitals. A thorough background check that includes a FACIS search, which checks 800+ sources to identify individuals and entities barred from receiving federal healthcare funds (such as Medicare and Medicaid), is essential to any healthcare employee screening process.
Prevent Medical Malpractice
Medical personnel are responsible for the health and safety of patients, so the wrong person in a healthcare position could cause serious harm. Fortunately, medical background checks help prevent this type of mishap by verifying that applicants have the credentials they claim to have.
Professional license verification is a crucial part of any healthcare background check. This investigation uncovers any candidate’s licenses and identifies any restrictions that would disqualify them from working in your facility. In addition, a sanction check searches federal lists of individuals and entities prohibited from participating in Medicare and Medicaid programs. It includes criminal records, disciplinary action, and other complications affecting work eligibility at your hospital or medical practice.
Other healthcare-specific background checks were essential for your vetting process, including employment verification, education verification, reference verification, a multi-jurisdictional national criminal records check, a national sex offender search, social security number validation or identity verification, motor vehicle reports, drug screening. Neglecting to run healthcare background checks can lead to negligent hiring lawsuits and expose your facility to severe financial, reputational, and ethical damage.
Healthcare professionals often have access to sensitive patient information that could be used for nefarious purposes. A criminal history of theft, embezzlement, fraud, or abuse could expose a hospital or clinic to financial loss and even regulatory penalties. It makes it especially crucial for healthcare facilities to conduct background checks on their staff and volunteers.
Using the proper screening tools can help prevent hiring issues and potential liability claims from negligent hiring lawsuits. Healthcare background checks can include verifications of professional credentials, work history, education, a multi-jurisdictional national criminal records check, a national sex offender registry check, social security number validation or identity checking, driving records, drug screenings, and more.
One unique screening tool specific to the medical field is professional verification, which looks at a candidate’s professional history and verifies details like employer names, dates of employment, the reason for leaving, and qualifications. Another type of healthcare-specific background check is a sanctions search, which can identify whether a healthcare worker or entity has been excluded from federal healthcare programs.
Prevent Financial Loss
Unlike in a hospital or doctor’s office, in-home healthcare workers interact with patients one-on-one. This setup offers a significant opportunity for caregivers to take advantage of patients by stealing or abusing them. Thorough criminal background checks, sex offender registry checks, drug screenings, and credit history checks can help to minimize this risk.
Healthcare organizations that contract with Medicare and Medicaid must not hire authorized individuals to avoid a potential loss of funding. Sanctions checks are also essential for healthcare employers to run on job applicants. These searches search the list of excluded individuals and entities database to identify individuals and entities sanctioned by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General.
With a background check service specializing in the healthcare industry, you can rest assured that your candidates are checked thoroughly and compliant.