All nursing home employees may be subject to background checks if a prefiled bill in the Kentucky legislature passes in the 2012 session, according to a recent news article in the Lexington Herald-Leader.
Existing laws only require background checks on employees who provide direct elder care in nursing homes. The new bill broadens the scope to include anyone who works in facilities, regardless of how closely they interact with residents.
“Expanding the statute can provide more protection for an elderly population who may not be able to speak up for themselves when they are abused,” says Bowling Green personal injury attorney J. Marshall Hughes, whose law firm has extensive experience handling cases involving nursing home abuse and elder neglect in Bowling Green, Louisville and parts of Tennessee.
“Any employee – not just those who provide direct care for nursing-home residents – still has many opportunities to exploit them just because they are in such close proximity,” he added.
The new bill comes on the heels of another move by Kentucky to address cases of nursing home abuse. In June, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services awarded the state a $3 million grant to upgrade its background-check system from one that searches only by name to one that screens potential employees by digital fingerprinting.
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Kentucky Attorneys Support Bill That Would Require Pre-Employment Screening of Nursing Home Workers