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CMS National Background Check Program

Overview

Since the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) passed in 1987, long term care (LTC) patient abuse, neglect and misappropriation of funds have been identified as a widespread problem for millions of Americans receiving LTC services. Title VI, Subtitle B, Part III, Subtitle C, Section 6201 of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-148) established the framework for a nationwide program to conduct background checks on a statewide basis on all prospective direct patient access employees of LTC facilities and providers. LTC facilities and providers include skilled nursing and nursing facilities, home health agencies, hospice and personal care providers, LTC hospitals, residential care providers arranging for or providing LTC services, and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities (formerly known as “mentally retarded”).

The program's purpose is to identify efficient, effective, and economical procedures for conducting background checks. The program will be administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), in consultation with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

What's New

The CMS has awarded more than $50 million to 24 States to design comprehensive national background check programs for direct patient access employees. The Ninth solicitation for grant proposals from States and U.S. territories for inclusion in this National Background Check Program deadline has been extended and applications will be accepted on a flow basis and acted on every 30 days. Federal matching funds are available to all States and U.S. territories that apply to CMS and meet all the National Background Check Program requirements as defined in Section 6201 of the Affordable Care Act. CMS will provide technical support to the States participating in the program. The program will be evaluated by the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG). More information about the program solicitation and awards, including a list of all States that have received awards and a copy of Section 6201, can be found by visiting the download files listed below. Questions regarding the National Background Check Program may be directed to background_checks@cms.hhs.gov. 

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