Expands KDADS’ authority to conduct fingerprint-based background checks
TOPEKA – Governor Jeff Colyer, M.D., signed into law Thursday a bill authorizing the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services’ (KDADS) Health Occupations Credentialing program to conduct national fingerprint-based background checks on individuals seeking to work in adult care homes or home health agencies or to provide services through one of the state’s seven home- and community-based services Medicaid waivers.
“This bill is a common-sense measure that will help to protect vulnerable Kansans. I was pleased to sign this important legislation because it closes a loophole that could allow caretakers to victimize disabled or elderly Kansans. Expanding our fingerprint-based background checks makes all of those receiving care safer,” Governor Colyer said.
“This will allow us to carry out a more thorough check of individuals who work caring for the vulnerable in our state,” KDADS Secretary Tim Keck said. “Currently, there are approximately 8,000 individuals working in Kansas adult care homes who reside in a state that borders Kansas. The national background fingerprint check will ensure that records of crimes committed in other states are available for review before individuals can be hired, regardless of their state of residence.”
The bill signed by Governor Colyer amends three existing criminal record-check statutes to align all the offenses and timeframes that disqualify or prohibit an individual from working in any of those health care settings and sets a length of time after conviction of a disqualifying crime must pass before the individual is eligible to be employed in those settings. Alignment of the prohibited offenses and timeframes creates parity for all potential workers because all are held to the same standards.
KDADS’ background check portal, KanCheck, has been developed and built through a grant from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) at no cost to the State of Kansas. The system was designed to be utilized by multiple agencies and programs. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment will be utilizing the KanCheck system to complete their criminal record checks for childcare providers.
In 2017, KDADS completed a total of 63,514 criminal record background checks and issued a total of 976 employment prohibitions, 147 for adult care home/home health agency applicants and 829 for home- and community-based services job applicants.