Earlier this month, Daniel R. Levinson, inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services, reported that more than 90% of nursing homes employ one or more people who have been convicted of a crime. In addition, the report states that 5% of all nursing home employees have at least one criminal conviction.


Levinson cross referenced the names of more than 35,000 nursing home employees with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to see if they had criminal records. Mr. Levinson states, “Nearly half of nursing facilities employed five or more individuals with at least one conviction. For example, a nursing facility with a total of 164 employees had 34 employees with at least one conviction each.”


Currently, there is no federal law or regulation specifically requiring nursing homes to check federal or state criminal history records for prospective employees. Ten states require a check of F.B.I. and state records, while 33 require a check of only state records, and the remainder do not have a standard set of requirements.