Home health agencies located in Connecticut are no subject to Connecticut's long-term care facility law. The Department of Public Health (DPH) has established a web-based program, the Applicant Background Check Management Services (ABCMS), which provides long-term facilities and providers with a web portal to submit applicants, conduct registry checks, and process and track fingerprint-based criminal history record checks. Use of ABCMS is required before an offer of employment can be made and long-term facilities subject to the background check program must register with the ABCMS.
Background checks through ABCMS are required only for prospective employees, contractors, and certain volunteers with "direct access" and who provide "long-term care services" to patients or residents.
"Direct access" is defined as physical access to a patient or resident in a long-term care facility that affords an individual the opportunity to commit abuse or neglect against or misappropriate the property of a patient or resident. See Conn. Gen. Stat. § 19a-491C(a)(2).
"Long-Term care services" are defined as the provision of supportive or health services to a patient or resident of a long-term care facility. This definition is consistent with the definition of "long-term care" found in federal law.
Volunteers are only subject to a background check when the long-term care facility expects that the volunteer will regularly perform duties substantially similar to the those of an employee with direct access.
Disqualification of applicants can only be done by the DPH ABCMS program staff and not the long-term care facility. Disqualifying offenses are:
- Conviction of program-related crimes: any criminal offense related to the delivery of an item or service under Medicare or a State health care program (including Medicaid, the Title V Federal maternal and child health block grant, Title XX Federal social services block grants, and the State Children's Health Insurance Program);
- Conviction related to patient abuse: any criminal offense under Federal or State law relating to neglect or abuse of patients in connection with the delivery of a health care item or service;
- Felony conviction relating to health care fraud: any felony offense relating to fraud, theft, embezzlement, breach of fiduciary responsibility, or other financial misconduct in connection with the delivery of a healthcare item or service or with respect to any act or omission in a health care program operated or financed in whole or in part by any Federal, State or local government agency, if the offense occurred after August 11, 1996; and
- Felony conviction relating to a controlled substance: any felony offense under Federal or State law relating to unlawful manufacturing, distribution, prescription, or dispensing of a controlled substance, if the offense occurred after August 11, 1996.
Applicants may also be ineligible for employment if they are subject to a substantiated finding of neglect, abuse, or misappropriation of property by a state or federal agency pursuant to an investigation conducted in accordance with 42 U.S.C § 1395i-3(g)(1)(C) or 42 U.S.C. § 19696r(g)(1)(C).