Background Check Center Provided by Delaware Health & Social Services
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Source Of Data

The Background Check Center (BCC), consolidates data from various places. Below is a listing of the sources of the data, a description of the purpose of maintaining the data, and information about where an individual who believes that the information is incorrect can seek more information.

Professional Regulation

The Division of Professional Regulation (DPR) is within the Department of State.

The mission of DPR is to ensure the protection of the public's health, safety and welfare, by providing administrative and investigative services that serve the citizens of Delaware, professional licensees, license applicants, other state and national agencies, and private organizations. DPR regulates 53 professions, trades, and events, including many in health care.

The DPR website provides information regarding an individual's license status—whether it is active, expired, suspended, revoked, etc.

Concerns regarding the information reported by DPR to the BCC may be reviewed by going to the DPR website. If a concern still exists, you can contact DPR for more information.

Office of the Inspector General (OIG)

The OIG is part of the federal Department of Health and Human Services.

The OIG maintains a registry of individuals who are excluded from work in a federally funded health care setting. It is dedicated to combating fraud, waste and abuse and to improving the efficiency of HHS programs. A majority of OIG's resources goes toward the oversight of Medicare and Medicaid.

The OIG has the authority to exclude individuals and entities from Federally funded health care programs pursuant to the Social Security Act, §1128 and §1156 and maintains a list of all currently excluded individuals and entities called the List of Excluded Individuals and Entities (LEIE). Anyone who receives Federal funds and hires an individual or entity on the LEIE may be subject to civil monetary penalties (CMP).

Exclusions are imposed for a number of reasons:

Mandatory exclusions: OIG is required by law to exclude from participation in all Federal health care programs individuals and entities convicted of the following types of criminal offenses: Medicare or Medicaid fraud, as well as any other offenses related to the delivery of items or services under Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP, or other State health care programs; patient abuse or neglect; felony convictions for other health care-related fraud, theft, or other financial misconduct; and felony convictions relating to unlawful manufacture, distribution, prescription, or dispensing of controlled substances.

Permissive exclusions: OIG has discretion to exclude individuals and entities on a number of grounds, including misdemeanor convictions related to health care fraud other than Medicare or a State health program, fraud in a program (other than a health care program) funded by any Federal, State or local government agency; misdemeanor convictions relating to the unlawful manufacture, distribution, prescription, or dispensing of controlled substances; suspension, revocation, or surrender of a license to provide health care for reasons bearing on professional competence, professional performance, or financial integrity; provision of unnecessary or substandard services; submission of false or fraudulent claims to a Federal health care program; engaging in unlawful kickback arrangements; and defaulting on health education loan or scholarship obligations; and controlling a sanctioned entity as an owner, officer, or managing employee.

An employer or applicant who questions the accuracy of the BCC's information regarding the OIG should conduct an independent inquiry by accessing the OIG website and going to the online searchable database. The report in the BCC is derived from that source.

Nurse Aide (CNA) Registry

The DHSS Division of Health Care Quality (DHCQ) manages the Delaware Nurse Aide Registry (NAR). Information about Delaware's NAR is on DHCQ's CNA Registry website.

The NAR provides a list of Certified Nurse Aides (CNA) in the State, as well as the current status of their certification. A CNA's status may be active or lapsed. A CNA may be flagged because of a substantiated finding of abuse, neglect, mistreatment of residents, or misappropriation of their property. The NAR is maintained by Prometric, Inc., through an independent contract with DHCQ.

Appeals: Any person who believes that an error exists in his/her personal information on the Nurse Aide Registry should contact Prometric, Inc. directly to resolve the issue.

Authority: Social Security Act §1819(e) (2) and §1919(e) (2);

Sex Offender Registry (SOR)

The Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security, Sex Offender Management Board operates the SOR.

The SOR provides a searchable record available to the public regarding every sex offender who has been convicted and is designated for listing on the registry. Such records include the last verified addresses for the offender, and specifies the specific sex offense for which the offender was convicted, the date or dates of the convictions and other information as provided by statute. 11 Del.C. §4120.

The Delaware State Police is responsible for creating, maintaining, and routinely updating and auditing the SOR. 11 Del.C.§ 4121(j). Questions or concerns regarding the SOR can be directed to (302) 739-5882.

Adult Abuse Registry

The DHSS Division of Health Care Quality (DHCQ) manages the Adult Abuse Registry.

DHCQ maintains an Adult Abuse Registry (AAR) listing of all persons in the State of Delaware who have a substantiated case of abuse, neglect, mistreatment, and/or financial exploitation in their backgrounds. No health care service provider, nursing home or similar facility, or child care facility shall hire any person seeking employment without first checking the Adult Abuse Registry.

Appeals: Any person who believes that the information reported from the AAR to the BCC is not accurate may seek a review of the listing by contacting the Division of Health Care Quality Adult Abuse Registry and asking for an Adult Abuse Registry-BCC review. If the review fails to resolve the issue, the individual's remedy is to seek an administrative review pursuant to 29 Del.C. Ch. 101.

Authority: 29 Del.C. §7970; 11 Del. C. §8564.

Service Letters

Service letters are required by statute. The Delaware Department of Labor has enforcement authority through the use of civil monetary penalties (CMP).

"No employer who operates a health care facility and/or child care facility, or provides health, nutritional or personal care in such a facility, shall hire any person seeking employment without obtaining 1 or more service letters regarding that person, provided such person has been previously employed. The service letter(s) obtained must include a service letter from the person's current or most recent previous employer. In addition, if a person seeking employment was employed in a health care facility and/or child care facility within the past 5 years, the employer shall also obtain a service letter from such employer(s). If the person seeking employment has not been previously employed, or was self employed, then the employer must require the person to provide letters of reference from 2 adults who are familiar with the person, but are not relatives of the person." 19 Del.C. §708(b).

The above-quoted legal obligation is facilitated by the BCC. The termination process for the BCC provides the employer with an opportunity to complete a service letter. That letter will be available in the system for 5 years so that subsequent employers do not have to respond to any service letter requests.

The benefits of the service letter component will be realized over time because the system cannot accommodate service letters for persons not employed when the BCC is activated. In other words, people employed before the BCC is activated are not and will not be included in the system. Service letters will be available only for persons who have been registered in the BCC. A request for a service letter can be made through the BCC to a previous employer.

Child Protection Registry

The Child Protection Registry is maintained by the Division of Family Services of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families. 16 Del.C. §921.

The primary purpose of the Child Protection Registry is to protect children and to ensure the safety of children in child care, health care, and public educational facilities. The registry contains information about persons who have been substantiated for abuse or neglect as provided in 16 Del.C. §922.

Concerns regarding the information on the BCC from the Child Protection Registry are addressed in "A Guide to Understanding the Child Protection Registry."

Delaware Health Information Network (DHIN) Drug Test Process

The DHIN is the State's sanctioned provider of health information exchange services.

The DHIN was established by the Legislature in 1997 to facilitate the communication of personal health information in a timely, reliable, and secure manner. For the purposes of the BCC, the DHIN will serve as a conduit for delivering drug test results to the requesting facility through the BCC.

Facilities that use a laboratory that participates in DHIN will provide the applicant with a form produced by the BCC. The applicant will bring the form to the DHIN-connected laboratory for drug testing. The laboratory will conduct the test and send results electronically to the requesting facility.

Facilities that do not use a DHIN-connected laboratory will certify in the BCC that the legally mandated test has been secured and is available for inspection.

Drug test results do not become part of the applicant's electronic medical record. The results are used solely for BCC purposes.

Appeals: Since the DHIN serves only as a conduit for information, an applicant who chooses to contest the results of a drug test must contact the facility or the laboratory.

Authority: 16 Del C. Ch. 103.

Criminal Background Checks — State and Federal

The Delaware State Police, State Bureau of Identification (SBI) is the fingerprinting and criminal background agency for the State of Delaware.

Every person working in long term care or in the community working with persons needing assistance must be fingerprinted. The SBI secures the applicant's criminal history from both the State of Delaware and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The FBI collects data from all the States, so its report could be of a federal arrest and conviction, or of an arrest and conviction in any other state.

There are several key facts related to SBI:

When SBI fingerprints an individual, the agency connects the fingerprint with an SBI #. That number, which is unique to each individual, is used to connect that individual with the BCC if arrested after the system goes live. This is called a Rap-back. The purpose is to ensure that a person's criminal history is known to the employer, even after the employment begins.

In order for the BCC to work as intended, every person who works for an employer included in this project must be processed through the BCC and listed on its Master List. Even people who work in long term care, home health care, or the other settings included in this project who were exempt from fingerprinting when the criminal background check law became effective (March 31, 1999 for long term care facilities; July 1, 2001 for all others) and are still working have to be fingerprinted so they are included in the BCC. These people are referred to as "grandfathered employees." See IMP 002 for more details. And refer to 16 Del. C. §1141 for facilities and §1145 for Home Health, Temporary Staffing Agencies, Personal Assistance and Hospice.

An individual having concerns regarding the criminal history information provided in the BCC is directed to the SBI website.