OIG Releases Report on Home Health Agency Use of Background Checks.

Date posted: June 1, 2015

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a report assessing home health agency (HHA) use of employee background checks.  Federal law and regulation do not require HHAs to conduct background checks on potential or current employees.  However, HHAs must comply with any state laws requiring background checks in order to meet Medicare conditions of participation.

The OIG reported the following findings based on a random sample of 99 HHAs:

  • HHAs conducted various types of background checks on prospective employees;
  • Half of HHAs conducted periodic background checks after the date of hire;
  • All HHAs conducted either a state and/or federal criminal background check;
  • Four percent of HHA employees had a criminal conviction; and
  • Approximately half of HHAs hired at least one or more employees with a criminal conviction.

The OIG recommended that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) promote minimum background check standards by encouraging participation in the National Background Check Program.  CMS concurred with the recommendation.

The OIG report is available at:


The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.  “Home Health Agencies Conducted Background Checks of Varying Types.”  OEI-07-14-00130.  13 May 2015.

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