Shortages and Turnover
Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic, healthcare workers in nursing homes and assisted living facilities have been put through the ringer. Across the country there is a nurse shortage and nurses and other healthcare or HHS workers have had to, at times, work 36-hour shifts. With all that is going on in hospitals and assisted living facilities, there is bound to be turnover of HHS staff, and there is. Assisted living facilities, hospitals, retirement homes, and other smaller operations are going through record turnover, and hiring new employees is important, but employers must know who they are hiring.
When a new HHS worker is hired, there is always a risk that the person being hired could be a bad apple. Healthcare providers and patients should expect to be cared for by a person that will not neglect patients, commit fraudulent activity, abuse, or use drugs, steal, or even overprescribe. We, as society, have this general understanding that if we find ourselves in the unfortunate circumstances to have to go to a hospital or medical facility, that we will be taken care of honestly and carefully, but unfortunately, there are bad actors out there.
To safeguard healthcare providers and patients, there are regulations and checks in place to help ensure that the employees to be hired and currently employed are honest and not committing any crimes or neglecting or abusing their responsibilities as HHS workers. These regulations and checks are in place to protect employers and patients from individuals who do not have any OIG exclusions.
OIG exclusions are legal or conduct related blemishes or scars in the records of HHS workers, which includes doctors, nurses, and all other healthcare and human services workers. For companies that require HHS workers, the hiring company is required to run what is called an “OIG Exclusion check” upon hiring and thereafter monthly to check for any evidence of fraud, theft, or any imaginable misconduct on the part of the HHS worker/employee. These OIG exclusions inform companies of who they are hiring and retaining, protect honest HHS workers with a clean conduct record, and most importantly, they keep patients safe.
The Cost of Fraud
The benefits of OIG exclusionary checks and background checks far outweigh the risks of not confirming who you are hiring. Hiring HHS workers without running a check is not only wrong, its illegal and extremely costly for employers. The average fine from the Office of the Inspector General for not running a check is $130,000, but the offense and other factors may significantly increase the fines.
Chain of Confidence
There is a direct chain in providing quality healthcare from the healthcare system all the way to the patient, any break in that chain breaks down the confidence in the system that needs to work. From patient care, to billing, to hiring employees—integrity is necessary to assure the safety and security of all. At Employment Screening Services, we have a critical understanding of how important the chain of trust is for all—to hold the line in our fragile world right now. We specialize in background checks, drug testing, and OIG exclusion checks with two decades of experience.
There are no shortcuts in providing quality healthcare, and there are no shortcuts in hiring those who care for patients through these difficult times. If you would like to know more about OIG exclusions or background checks, we at ESS are here to help you understand what is important and aid your company in securing qualified professionals for what lies ahead. Give us a call or leave your information here, and we will contact you.