Nursing home residents have the right to receive a reasonable standard of care from qualified and licensed health care professionals. In addition to assessing a candidate’s licensing, prior experience, and bedside manner, nursing home administrators must also consider the applicant’s criminal history.
Although it is entirely possible to rehabilitate individuals who have been convicted of violent crimes, it is also true that a history of violence increases the risk of future outbursts and abuse. Because the sick and elderly are especially vulnerable to abuse, the state of Illinois has attempted to mitigate this risk by enacting the Health Care Worker Background Check Act.
Although this legislation is a step in the right direction, nursing home abuse remains a very real problem. If you suspect that your loved one was a victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, contact The Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd.
Yao O. Dinizulu will evaluate your case, gather evidence, interview witnesses, and help you pursue the maximum compensation. Call 312-384-1920 to schedule a free consultation with an elder abuse lawyer in Chicago.
What Is the Health Care Worker Background Check Act?
According to the Illinois Department of Human Services, the Health Care Worker Background Check Act mandates that health care facilities perform background checks on new employees and terminate current employees who have:
- A disqualifying criminal conviction;
- Substantiated evidence against them regarding physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation; or
- A report by the Department of Child & Family Services Central Register/Child Abuse and Neglect Tracking System of evidence against them regarding abuse or neglect.
Who Must Undergo a Background Check Pursuant to the Act?
According to the Illinois Nursing Home Administrators Association, the Health Care Worker Background Check Act governs long-term care facilities. That means nursing home administrators have an obligation to conduct a fingerprint background check on all unlicensed individuals who have access to:
- The residents;
- The residents’ living quarters;
- The residents’ financial records;
- The residents’ medical records; or
- The residents’ personal records.
Are There Any Exceptions to the Health Care Worker Background Check Act?
When you know that the people who are caring for your loved one have passed a criminal background check, it can provide some peace of mind; however, it is important to remember that there are some exceptions to the Act. For example, although the legislation prohibits long-term care facilities from hiring individuals with certain convictions, those individuals may remain employable if they secure a waiver from the Illinois Department of Public Health.
If you are concerned about the care your loved one is receiving at a nursing home, turn to The Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. Yao O. Dinizulu will help you navigate the claims process and fight for the maximum compensation.
Call 312-384-1920 to schedule a free consultation with a nursing home attorney in Chicago. You can learn more about nursing home abuse claims in Illinois by visiting USAttorneys.com.