|Action||Provision of provider statement to any other provider|
|Comment Period||Ended on 10/14/2020|
In regards to the proposed changes we would like to request an opportunity to submit written comments on the changes.
The intent and goal behind the proposed regulations are positive, though the execution is unclear, subjective and costly to providers. There is little in the regulation that would ensure that it is being carried out in a consistent manner. If there was a uniform template with clear measures and objectives for all providers to use this may assist in establishing consistency. This may also help in addressing “character, ability and fitness” which may be defined and measured differently between providers. Another option in establishing consistency and objectivity would be to utilize a registry system or the current CHRIS system in providing feedback to providers about potential employees focused primarily on founded abuse/neglect cases.
Further there is concern that some could use this as an avenue for retaliation against a past employee or someone could claim that this is preventing them from gaining employment. It further seems that when asked specifically to address questions about a previous employee’s character- any response that identifies negative character traits could be identified as defamation of character. These scenarios could lead to legal action against providers and the cost and time could be tremendous to providers. What reassurance can be provided that the release will provide sufficient protection from such legal action?
Lastly, the language in the proposed regulation states “shall” and is taken in that this will be a requirement for all agencies. Will there be an option to not provide this information if the provider is experiencing limited manpower, has received standing legal advice against providing such information or other concerns? What will the implications be for providers if they do not comply with this regulation from the state?