The bill revised sections of the state’s Long Term Care Security Act (63 Oklahoma Statute § 1-1944 et. seq.) that deals with public-health employment. Most of the amendments to the law became effective November 1, 2012.
The law, among other things, provides a revised list of disqualifying offenses for employment and certification of certified nurse aides. It authorizes fingerprint-based national criminal history background checks on applicants for employment in a variety of long-term care settings, including nurse aides (63 Oklahoma Statute § 1-1950.1). The Department of Health has proposed to stagger the effective dates for implementation of the fingerprint-based national background check requirement as follows (Dept. of Health Rule 310:2-29-3):
- Nurse aide scholarship programs – January 1, 2014
- State Department of health and Department of Human Services whose responsibilities include working inside long-term care facilities – January 1, 2014
- Adult day care centers – January 1, 2014
- Residential care homes – January 1, 2014
- Nursing or specialized facilities – January 15, 2014
- Assisted living facilities or continuum of care facilities – January 15, 2014
- Home health or home care agencies – February 1, 2014
- Medicaid home-and community-based services waivered providers – February 1, 2014
- Staffing agencies with a contracted relationship to provide staff with direct patient access to service recipients – February 1, 2014
- Independent contractors – February 1, 2014
A public hearing for the proposed regulations is scheduled for November 1, 2013, beginning at 11:00 a.m., at the Oklahoma State Department of Health, 1000 N.E. 10th Street, Room 1102, Oklahoma City, OK 73117-1207. Parties who are interested in submitting data, views or concerns about the proposed rules may attend the hearing, or submit the information in writing before November 1, 2013. Written communication should be sent to James Joslin, Chief, Health Resources, Development Service, Oklahoma State Department of Health, 1000 N.E. 10th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73117-1207, or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until the new regulations go into effect, employers should continue to obtain criminal history background records maintained by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. When the new regulations go into effect, employers will be required to conduct a national fingerprint-based criminal history record check on future nurse aide applicants. backgroundchecks.com will keep clients updated about the implementation of the new regulations adopted by the department.
A copy of House Bill 2582 can be viewed here: http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/cf_pdf/2011-12%20ENR/hB/HB2582%20ENR.PDF
A copy of the proposed rules can be viewed here: http://www.ok.gov/health2/documents/310-002%20Procedures%20Packet.pdf