Keeping criminals out of the nursing home industry is the intent of the Patient Safety and Abuse Prevention Act (S. 1577). The act became one step closer to becoming law this week when the Senate Finance Committee unanimously passed the aft this week. The Act would establish a nationwide system of background checks for potential nursing home and long-term care employees.
If passed by the Senate, the bill would allow nursing homes to weed out potentially abusive caregivers from the hiring pool. Bill sponsors Sens. Herb Kohl (D-WI) and Pete Domenici (R-NM) in a statement called the bill an important step toward protecting seniors from mistreatment by those who care for them.
Background checks work. Earlier this year, the Senate Special Committee on Aging, which Kohl chairs, announced that a three-year, seven-state background check pilot program had prevented thousands of potentially abusive candidates from gaining employment in the long-term care field. Read more about Patient Safety and Abuse Prevention Act here.
Illinois has a similar law on the books when the Governor signed HB 2531 into law.