Background Study Enhancements effective July 1, 2015:
Several significant provisions were enacted that will improve the accuracy of DHS background studies and increase protections for vulnerable adults and children who receive services from those who have a background study. The changes include:
Counties will be required to conduct background studies on new county employees who have child protection duties, and on current county employees who are assigned new child protection duties. The counties are allowed, but are not required, to conduct these background studies through the DHS NETStudy system. (Article 1, sections 4, 5, and 7 )
DHS will conduct both maltreatment and FBI checks on non-Minnesota residents who provide direct care services in nursing homes, home care facilities, or boarding care homes. (Article 7, section 1 )
Tribal organizations will be allowed to contract with DHS to do FBI checks on individuals affiliated with tribally licensed nursing facilities. (Article 7, section 9)
Group Residential Housing Providers (Article 1, sections 3, 6, and 28)
Effective July 1, 2016, DHS is required to conduct background studies on providers of group residential housing or supplementary services. Background studies are required for controlling individuals, managerial officials, employees and volunteers who have direct contact or unsupervised access to recipients, or their person property or private data.
The provision also requires group residential housing providers to pay a fee of $20 to DHS for each background study conducted.
By July 1, 2017, providers of group residential housing or supplementary services must be able to demonstrate that all required individuals have undergone a background study and are either not disqualified or if disqualified, the disqualification has been set aside for their program.
Non-emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) Providers (Article 11, sections 7, 8 and 9)
Effective Jan. 1, 2016, DHS is required to conduct background studies for providers of NEMT, which includes any persons with a direct or indirect ownership interest of 5 percent or higher in the transportation service provider; each controlling individual; managerial officials; each driver employed by the transportation service provider to assist a passenger during transport; and all employees of the transportation service agency who provide administrative support.
Individuals are not permitted to provide services until the background study has been completed and the provider receives a notice that the individual is not disqualified or, if disqualified, the disqualification has been set aside.
The provision also requires special transportation providers to pay a fee of $20 to DHS for each background study conducted.
Several significant provisions were enacted that will help clarify and streamline background studies conducted by DHS. The changes include:
Clarifying the definition of "access to persons served by a program" in the background study law to include access to the personal, financial or health information of individuals receiving services by the program. In other words, when a person is disqualified from "direct contact with, or access to" children and vulnerable adults receiving services from a program, they are also disqualified from having access to any personal, financial or health information about the individuals receiving services . (Article 4, section 33. Effective Aug. 1, 2015);
People working through supplemental nursing service agencies, personnel agencies, educational programs and unlicensed home and community-based waiver providers are no longer required to undergo annual background studies once they are using the new NETStudy 2.0 system to initiate background studies. (Article 4, sections 34, 35 and 36. Effective immediately);
NETStudy 2.0 accepts a background study's driver's license from any state for identification purposes, where it only used to accept a Minnesota driver's license. (Article 4, section 37. Effective immediately);
Clarifies requirements related to transferability of background studies across entities that are owned and controlled by the same entity. The sensitive information person must be employed by the agency. (Article 4, section 38. Effective immediately);
Clarifies record keeping requirements for license holders who rely on background studies initiated by others to include those initiated by supplemental nursing services agencies and to exclude those initiated by educational programs. ( Article 4, section 40. Effective Aug. 1, 2015);
Specifies conditions under which license holders using NETStudy 2.0 can satisfy the documentation requirements for ensuring required background studies have been completed through a written agreement with the educational program. (Article 4, section 41. Effective Aug. 1, 2015)