The Importance of Continuous Background Monitoring in Healthcare

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The Importance of Continuous Background Monitoring in Healthcare

It has been shown that more than 96% of employers conduct a pre-employment background check to ensure the safety of their employees, patrons, and property. However, far fewer do the same for their current employees. Though continuous background checks may not be as necessary for all industries, there are a few reasons why the healthcare industry should fully adopt the practice. 

Ongoing Background Checks Are Becoming a Standard for Health Care Employers

Pre-employment background checks can help prevent the risk that presents itself during the hiring process. However, with the important role of safeguarding patients and staff at stake, it is critical to consider the long term. For this reason, an increasing number of healthcare providers have adopted performing these kinds of checks.

In fact, according to a report from the Society for Human Resources Professionals, about a quarter of employers report performing these checks. Though this report did not exclusively include healthcare employers, they were amongst the most represented participants. 

This makes sense given that healthcare providers must maintain compliance with federal regulations, such as those prohibiting healthcare providers from hiring individuals sanctioned, if they participate in programs such as Medicare or Medicaid. As a result, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has recommended that these employers conduct monthly screening of employees and contractors. This corresponds with the frequency of how often the OIG updates its list of Excluded Individuals and Entities (LEIE).

Ongoing Screening Reduces Criminal and Civil Liability

One skilled nursing facility was recently assessed $143,000 in penalties because they had employed someone who was banned from being employed in a healthcare job that would be billed to a Federal Healthcare Program. This shows the danger of failing to regularly check employees for offenses such as:

  • Defrauding Medicare or Medicaid Programs
  • Abusing or neglecting patients
  • Convictions for fraud felonies related to healthcare
  • Committing financial misconduct
  • A felony conviction for illegal manufacturing, distribution, or prescribing of controlled substances

If a healthcare employer chooses to hire an excluded individual or entity, they may be liable for civil monetary penalties. The best way to avoid suffering these penalties is to perform pre-employment screening and continuously monitor current employees and contractors for healthcare sanctions.

Keep Your Patients Safe

Healthcare employees are likely to work with several vulnerable populations, including those with chronic illnesses, children, and the elderly. This makes it important to ensure that employees can be trusted to work with these groups. Though pre-employment background checks can go a long way to helping ensure that the correct individuals are placed in these positions, continuous monitoring is crucial to help identify those who may pose a risk to vulnerable patients. 

How To Begin Your Own Healthcare Continuous Monitoring Program 

In order to effectively ensure the safety of their patients and staff and remain compliant with federal standards, it is easy to see that continuous monitoring has become an essential program for healthcare employers. An advanced continuous monitoring provider like Pre-employ can provide you with a simple and automated solution that can give you the peace of mind of knowing that you will be alerted if issues arise with any of your employees.

You can check out pre-employ’s continuous monitoring page today to learn more about staying on top of any workplace issues.