S. 3066 (106th): Senior Care Safety Act of 2000

106th Congress, 1999–2000. Text as of Sep 19, 2000 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

S 3066 IS

106th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 3066

To amend titles XVIII and XIX of the Social Security Act to require criminal background checks for nursing facility workers.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

September 19, 2000

Mr. ASHCROFT introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance


A BILL

To amend titles XVIII and XIX of the Social Security Act to require criminal background checks for nursing facility workers.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘Senior Care Safety Act of 2000’.

SEC. 2. CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR NURSING FACILITY WORKERS.

    (a) MEDICARE-

      (1) REQUIREMENT TO CONDUCT CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS- Section 1819(d)(4) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395i-3(d)(4)) is amended--

        (A) by redesignating subparagraph (B) as subparagraph (C); and

        (B) by inserting after subparagraph (A) the following new subparagraph:

        ‘(B) SCREENING OF WORKERS-

          ‘(i) IN GENERAL- A skilled nursing facility shall not knowingly employ an individual unless the individual has passed a criminal background check conducted in accordance with the requirements of clause (ii).

          ‘(ii) REQUIREMENTS-

            ‘(I) NOTIFICATION- Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this subparagraph, the Secretary, in consultation with the Attorney General, shall notify skilled nursing facilities of the requirements of this subparagraph.

            ‘(II) SKILLED NURSING FACILITY REQUIREMENTS-

‘(aa) PROVISION OF STATEMENTS TO APPLICANTS- Not later than 180 days after a skilled nursing facility receives a notice in accordance with subclause (I), the skilled nursing facility shall adopt and enforce the requirement that each applicant for employment at the skilled nursing facility shall complete the written statement described in subclause (III).

‘(bb) TRANSMITTAL OF COMPLETED STATEMENTS- Not later than 5 business days after a skilled nursing facility receives such completed written statement, the skilled nursing facility shall transmit such statement to the Attorney General.

            ‘(III) STATEMENT DESCRIBED- The written statement described in this subclause shall contain the following:

‘(aa) The name, address, and date of birth appearing on a valid identification document (as defined section 1028(d)(2) of title 18, United States Code) of the applicant, a description of the identification document used, and the applicant’s social security account number.

‘(bb) A statement that the applicant has never been convicted of a crime of violence or of a Federal or State offense consisting of the distribution of controlled substances (as that term is defined in section 102(6) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802(6)).

‘(cc) The date the statement is made.

            ‘(IV) ATTORNEY GENERAL REQUIREMENTS-

‘(aa) IN GENERAL- Upon receipt of a completed written statement from a skilled nursing facility, the Attorney General, using information available to the Department of Justice, shall notify the facility of the receipt of such statement and promptly determine whether the applicant completing the statement has ever been convicted of a crime described in subclause (III)(bb).

‘(bb) NOTIFICATION OF FAILURE TO PASS- Not later than 5 business days after the receipt of such statement, the Attorney General shall inform the skilled nursing facility transmitting the statement if the applicant completing the statement did not pass the background check. A skilled nursing facility not so informed within such period shall consider the applicant completing the statement to have passed the background check.

‘(cc) NO FEE- In no case shall a skilled nursing facility or an applicant be charged a fee in connection with the background check

process conducted under this clause.

          ‘(iii) LIMITATION ON USE OF INFORMATION- A skilled nursing facility that obtains criminal background information about an applicant pursuant to this subparagraph may use such information only for the purpose of determining the suitability of the worker for employment.

          ‘(iv) NO ACTION BASED ON FAILURE TO HIRE- In any action against a skilled nursing facility based on a failure or refusal to hire an applicant, the fact that the applicant did not pass a background check conducted in accordance with this subparagraph shall be a complete defense to such action.’.

      (2) PENALTIES- Section 1819(h)(1) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395i-3(h)(1)) is amended--

        (A) by striking the heading and inserting ‘STATE AUTHORITY’;

        (B) in the first sentence--

          (i) by redesignating subparagraphs (A) and (B) as clauses (i) and (ii) and indenting such clauses appropriately; and

          (ii) by striking ‘If a State’ and inserting the following:

        ‘(A) IN GENERAL- If a State’;

        (C) in the second sentence, by striking ‘If a State’ and inserting the following:

        ‘(C) PENALTIES FOR PRIOR FAILURES- If a State’; and

        (D) by inserting after subparagraph (A) (as added by subparagraph (B)(ii) of this paragraph) the following new subparagraph:

        ‘(B) REQUIRED PENALTIES- A civil money penalty of not more than $5000 shall be assessed and collected, with interest, against any facility which is or was out of compliance with the requirements of clause (i), (ii)(II), or (iii) of subsection (d)(4)(B).’.

    (b) MEDICAID-

      (1) REQUIREMENT TO CONDUCT CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS- Section 1919(d)(4) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396r(d)(4)) is amended--

        (A) by redesignating subparagraph (B) as subparagraph (C); and

        (B) by inserting after subparagraph (A) the following new subparagraph:

        ‘(B) SCREENING OF WORKERS-

          ‘(i) IN GENERAL- A nursing facility shall not knowingly employ an individual unless the individual has passed a criminal background check conducted in accordance with the requirements of clause (ii).

          ‘(ii) REQUIREMENTS-

            ‘(I) NOTIFICATION- Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this subparagraph, the Secretary, in consultation with the Attorney General, shall notify nursing facilities of the requirements of this subparagraph.

            ‘(II) NURSING FACILITY REQUIREMENTS-

‘(aa) PROVISION OF STATEMENTS TO APPLICANTS- Not later than 180 days after a nursing facility receives a notice in accordance with subclause (I), the nursing facility shall adopt and enforce the requirement that each applicant for employment at the nursing facility shall complete the written statement described in subclause (III).

‘(bb) TRANSMITTAL OF COMPLETED STATEMENTS- Not later than 5 business days after a nursing facility receives such completed written statement, the nursing facility shall transmit such statement to the Attorney General.

            ‘(III) STATEMENT DESCRIBED- The written statement described in this subclause shall contain the following:

‘(aa) The name, address, and date of birth appearing on a valid identification document (as defined section 1028(d)(2) of title 18, United States Code) of the applicant, a description of the identification document used, and the applicant’s social security account number.

‘(bb) A statement that the applicant has never been convicted of a crime of violence or of a Federal or State offense consisting of the distribution of controlled substances (as that term is defined in section 102(6) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802(6)).

‘(cc) The date the statement is made.

            ‘(IV) ATTORNEY GENERAL REQUIREMENTS-

‘(aa) IN GENERAL- Upon receipt of a completed written statement from a nursing facility, the Attorney General, using information available to the Department of Justice, shall notify the facility of the receipt of such statement and promptly determine whether the applicant completing the statement has ever

been convicted of a crime described in subclause (III)(bb).

‘(bb) NOTIFICATION OF FAILURE TO PASS- Not later than 5 business days after the receipt of such statement, the Attorney General shall inform the nursing facility transmitting the statement if the applicant completing the statement did not pass the background check. A nursing facility not so informed within such period shall consider the applicant completing the statement to have passed the background check.

‘(cc) NO FEE- In no case shall a nursing facility or an applicant be charged a fee in connection with the background check process conducted under this clause.

          ‘(iii) LIMITATION ON USE OF INFORMATION- A nursing facility that obtains criminal background information about an applicant pursuant to this subparagraph may use such information only for the purpose of determining the suitability of the worker for employment.

          ‘(iv) NO ACTION BASED ON FAILURE TO HIRE- In any action against a nursing facility based on a failure or refusal to hire an applicant, the fact that the applicant did not pass a background check conducted in accordance with this subparagraph shall be a complete defense to such action.’.

      (2) PENALTIES- Section 1919(h)(2)(A) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396r(h)(2)(A)) is amended by inserting after clause (iv) the following new clause:

          ‘(v) A civil money penalty of not more than $5000 shall be assessed and collected, with interest, against any facility which is or was out of compliance with the requirements of clause (i), (ii)(II), or (iii) of subsection (d)(4)(B).’.

    (c) EFFECTIVE DATE- The amendments made by this section take effect on October 1, 2000.

SEC. 3. REPORT ON CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Not later than 3 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Attorney General shall conduct a study of the effects of background checks in nursing facilities and submit a report to Congress that includes the following:

      (1) The success of conducting background checks on nursing facility employees.

      (2) The impact of background checks on patient care in such facilities.

      (3) The need to conduct background checks in other patient care settings outside of nursing facilities.

      (4) Suggested methods for further improving the background check system and the estimated costs of such improvements.

    (b) DEFINITION OF NURSING FACILITY- In subsection (a), the term ‘nursing facility’ has the meaning given that term in section 1919(a) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396r(a)) and includes a skilled nursing facility (as defined in section 1819(a) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1395i-3(a))).