|Action||Provision of provider statement to any other provider|
|Comment Period||Ended on 10/14/2020|
The proposed text indicates a provider’s written statement shall pertain to “the character, ability, and fitness for employment in or to otherwise fill the role for which the person has applied.” We believe implementation of this provision will negatively impact providers by adding both an administrative burden and unnecessary litigation risks. The Legislative intent behind the addition was to fill the information gap created by the lack of a state registry for those with founded cases of abuse and neglect. The required written statement of character, ability, and fitness fails to satisfy that intent in the following ways:
Furthermore, the subjectivity of the information being requested places providers at an increased risk of litigation. While the regulation addresses civil liability at the State level for the provider, it fails to address the risks associated at the Federal level and for individual staff members.
Realizing the language in the provision directly mirrors what is required by the Virginia Legislature, we ask that DHBDS provide written guidance indicating draft statement language which will both satisfy a written assessment of character, ability, and fitness for employment AND reduce any litigation risks for the provider. We ask that any guidance provided by DBHDS provide uniform definitions and methodologies as they relate to investigations into allegations of abuse and neglect. We further ask that DBHDS provide guidance to assist providers in communicating requests for information to staff and informing as to options of recourse for staff who dispute the information provided.