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Washington assisted living and nursing facilities may have additional obligations after receiving background check results

The Washington Department of Social and Health Services recently sent a “Dear Administrator” letter to assisted living and skilled nursing facilities, stating that a recent state audit identified that the Department does not have a process in place to determine the Character, Competence, and Suitability (CC&S) of an owner or designee when their background check shows they have a nondisqualifying crime, pending charges or negative actions that occurred after the facility was licensed.

The concern is that a provider may have a crime or negative action that could put residents at risk should a CC&S review not be completed.

Based on this finding, the Department stated that moving forward, if an owner or designee’s background check or fingerprint check shows a nondisqualifying crime, pending charges or negative actions, they must either complete DSHS form 15-456 or complete a Character, Competence, and Suitability statement as outlined in applicable sections of the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) and make it available to the department upon request. Additionally, the CC&S should be kept with the owner or designee’s file for future inspections.

The letter states that when completing a CC&S, the owner or designee should consider the following:

  1. The amount of time that has passed since the conviction or negative action;
  2. The seriousness of the crime that led to the conviction or finding;
  3. The number and types of other convictions in the applicant’s background;
  4. Age when convicted of the crime or when s/he committed the act that resulted in a negative action(s);
  5. Documentation indicating successful completion of all court-ordered programs and restitution;
  6. Review of FBI RAP sheets (if applicable)
  7. Behaviors since the convictions, charges, negative actions or other adverse behaviors;
  8. The vulnerability of those that would be under the applicant/employees care; and
  9. Whether s/he self-disclosed the crime(s), pending charge(s), and/or negative action(s).

The Department’s letter to assisted living facilities is available here and the letter to nursing facilities is available here

Source: State of Washington Department of Social and Health Services, 6/9/2016

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