Problems with Michigan Home Health Aides and Pre-Employment Background Screening

Recently, State Health Director James Haveman indicated that a new pre-employment background screening process will be implemented for home health aides.  Before this policy was put in place, a state audit revealed nearly 3,800 convicted felons working as state funded aides.

Of the 3,800, some were convicted of murder, Medicaid fraud and rape among other charges; Havemen did not give any indication as to what the screening process was before this policy change was implemented, or any clue as to what the state will do in order to buff up its pre-employment background check strategy.

When conducting a Michigan background check, best practice indicates that the consumer reporting agency (CRA) search for statewide criminal convictions.  The statewide conviction search allows for the pre-employment screening to cast a wider net while looking for criminal convictions.  Alternatively, a cheaper option is to search for criminal records at the county level.  County level criminal records are isolated and remain local to the county where the conviction occurred.  It is entirely possible for an applicant to indicate that they live in a specific county, and have felony criminal convictions in a secondary county that may go unnoticed in a pre-employment screening.

Ultimately, we also recommend verification of name, address, and social security number along in our basic pre-employment screening.  Without the verification of this information, the employer has no way of knowing whether the located records (or lack of records) are accurate.

While the Michigan Health Department is just beginning to understand the difficulty surrounding the pre-employment screening process, Advanced Surveillance Group specializes in dealing with these type of complications and employs a dedicated staff of investigators to verify all of the information that goes into a pre-employment background check.