Provider Compliance Areas

  1. DHS Community Services Agreement, Attachment A

    This agreement is signed annually by Providers and requires agencies serving people with developmental disabilities to:

    • Employ persons having an Illinois State Police fingerprint criminal background check result reported to the Health Care Worker Registry (HCWR) that shows no disqualifying criminal convictions unless a waiver for that conviction is granted by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).
    • Conduct required registry clearances (see below) for all employees at time of hire and then as required annually thereafter.  Providers must establish a schedule to ensure all annually required registry clearances are completed timely. 
    • Comply with employment restrictions based on the results of criminal background checks or findings of registry clearances.
    • Retain documentation of criminal background check results and all registry clearances (at time of hire and annually) in the employee's personnel or training record or in a location available for review by Department staff.
  2. Health Care Worker Background Check Act (225 ILCS 46)

    Providers must certify compliance with all requirements and regulations issued pursuant to the Illinois Health Care Worker Background Check Act.  The law requires Providers to terminate employees found to have:

    • disqualifying criminal convictions unless there is a waiver granted by IDPH, or
    • substantiated findings of physical or sexual abuse, neglect or financial exploitation, or
    • indicated findings of abuse or neglect reported by the DCFS Central Register/Child Abuse and Neglect Tracking System (CANTS) unless there is a waiver granted by DHS, or
    • their name is listed on the HFS Office of the Inspector General Sanction List as not authorized for employment unless their employment is approved by HFS.
  3. Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act (325 ILCS 5/1)

    Providers must certify compliance with all requirements and regulations issued pursuant to the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act.

Specific Compliance Requirements

  1. Conduct Criminal Background Checks

    The Illinois Health Care Worker Background Check Act (225 ILCS 46) requires employees of health care providers and others identified in the Act to have fingerprint criminal background checks collected through IDPH-approved livescan vendors with the results reported electronically to the Illinois Health Care Worker Registry (HCWR).  All new hires must have fingerprint criminal background checks completed using the IDPH Web Portal once IDPH authorizes Provider access to that portal.  Providers are required by the Illinois Health Care Worker Background Check Act to immediately request access to the IDPH Web Portal.  The Act prohibits health care providers from employing people that have a disqualifying criminal conviction unless IDPH grants a waiver of the conviction.

    Eleven (11) livescan vendors are authorized by IDPH to perform fingerprint background checks for health care positions covered by the Illinois Health Care Worker Background Check Act requires livescan vendors to report fingerprint background check results directly to the Health Care Worker Registry. Important:  When selecting a vendor, Providers should first contact them to confirm they can provide timely fingerprint service to their area.  Many livescan vendors offer mobile services to all areas of the state.

    Livescan vendors approved by IDPH:

    Request for IDPH Waiver of disqualifying convictions: Persons with criminal convictions may file a Health Care Waiver Application Form with IDPH to reinstate their eligibility for employment with Illinois health care providers.

    Request for Removal of Substantiated Findings of Abuse, Neglect or Financial Exploitation:  Persons with findings reported by the DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) may request removal of their name from the Health Care Worker Registry by following the process described in Title 59, Chapter 1, Section 50.100 of the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code.

  2. Enroll with IDPH Web Portal

    The Illinois Health Care Worker Background Check Act requires providers to register for enrollment in the IDPH Web Portal and keep their agency's employment information current through the IDPH Web Portal.  This web-based system allows health care providers to send employees to livescan vendors to be fingerprinted and have the results of the criminal background check reported electronically to the Health Care Worker Registry. If an employee is convicted of a disqualifying criminal offense after being fingerprinted through a livescan vendor, the Provider is notified immediately via email of the conviction.

    • For Providers authorized to access the IDPH Web Portal, all newly hired employees must have a fingerprint criminal background check performed and reported to the Health Care Worker Registry.
    • To request access to the IDPH Web Portal, immediately contact DPH at: http://portalhome.dph.illinois.gov/
    • Failure to register for access to the IDPH Web Portal may subject Providers to fines and penalties levied by IDPH and administrative sanctions imposed by the DHS Division of Developmental Disabilities.
    • Until IDPH authorizes access to its web portal, Providers may use name-based (UCIA) criminal background checks and report the results by fax or mail directly to the Health Care Worker Registry. Providers can request UCIA name-based background check through the Illinois State Police web site.

    Important: Persons employed continuously with a Provider since October 1, 2007 and have a name-based criminal background check (UCIA) reported on the Health Care Worker Registry do not need to have fingerprint criminal background checks performed until they change employers.

  1. Conduct New Hire and Annual Registry Clearances of Employees

    Providers must establish a schedule to ensure all annually required registry clearances are completed:

    • on the anniversary of the employee's hire date,
    • at the time of the employee's annual performance evaluation is due, or
    • on another schedule that ensures timely annual completion.
    1. Health Care Worker Registry (HCWR) Clearance

      This clearance must be conducted at the time of hire and annually thereafter to confirm whether new hires or other employees have a criminal background check result reported to the HCWR. It will also confirm whether the person has a disqualifying criminal conviction, IDPH waiver for any disqualifying convictions, and/or any substantiated findings of abuse or neglect reported.

      • If criminal background check results are not reported on the HCWR for employees, they must immediately obtain a fingerprint criminal background check result using a livescan vendor approved by IDPH.  A livescan form is printed from the IDPH Web Portal.  It must be taken by the employee to a IDPH-approved livescan vendor for a fingerprint scan within 10 working days of hire. The livescan vendor sends the fingerprints to the Illinois State Police for a criminal background check.  The results of the criminal background check are reported by the Illinois State Police directly to the HCWR and posted as FEE_APP to the person's HCWR record.  After a FEE_APP designation is posted on the HCWR, a criminal background check never has to be repeated for that person.
      • If the designation "CAAPP" appears on the person's HCWR record, this is an administrative code entered by IDPH.  It designates a "wrap-back" finding connected to the person's fingerprint (FEE_APP) criminal background check.It is the same as a valid fingerprint (FEE_APP) result.  It may indicate new criminal activity, change in waiver status or a IDPH correction of a record. If Providers see a CAAPP designation for an employee, they should check the IDPH Web Portal to make sure their record does not display a "red flag" indicating a disqualifying conviction.
      • UCIA name-based background checks are valid for one (1) year from the date completed.
      • Persons who have worked continuously at the same provider since October 1, 2007, and have a UCIA name-based or fingerprint background check reported on the HCWR are not required to get a fingerprint (FEE_APP) criminal background check until they are hired by another provider covered under the Illinois Health Care Worker Background Check Act.
    2. DCFS State Central Register/Child Abuse and Neglect Tracking System (CANTS) or Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System (SACWIS) Clearance 

      This clearance must be conducted at the time of hire and annual thereafter to confirm whether employees have a DCFS finding of abuse or neglect that disqualifies them from employment by developmental disabilities providers.  DHS may grant employment waivers for these DCFS findings (see below).  There are different registries and clearances required depending on the Provider's DCFS licensure status.

      • For Providers not licensed by DCFS: Each employee's name must be cleared through the DCFS CANTS system to document the person does not have a record on this registry. Providers must request clearances in writing to DCFS by submitting Form CFS 689 at the time of hire and annually thereafter.  Persons may remain employed pending the receipt of these clearance results.
      • For Child Care Facilities licensed by DCFS:  Instead of the CANTS process, Providers must complete background clearances using the Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System (SACWIS).  This clearance is submitted to DCFS using Form CFS 718. Once the Provider documents in their file that the employee has had a SACWIS check, annual clearances are not required. The SACWIS automatically alerts Providers to any subsequent DCFS abuse/neglect findings in much the same way the Health Care Worker Registry's wrap-back feature notifies Providers if an employee has a subsequent disqualifying criminal conviction reported.  The SACWIS check is not a DHS-accepted substitute for any other background checks or registry clearances, only CANTS.  Providers must continue to complete all other required background checks and clearances at the time of hire and annually thereafter. 
      • If DCFS reports a substantiated finding of abuse or neglect for an employee, a disqualification period is indicated on the results form returned to the Provider.  The length of the disqualification is based on the severity of the finding.  DCFS definitions of disqualifying convictions and substantiated cases of abuse or neglect are contained in Part 385 of Title 89 of the Illinois Administrative Code.
      • Providers must not employ individuals in any capacity found to have a substantiated finding of abuse or neglect where the disqualification period has not expired unless a waiver of the finding has been granted by the Department of Human Services.

      Request for DHS waiver of DCFS indicated findings: Procedures for requesting waivers of DCFS indicated findings are outlined in DHS Division of Developmental Disabilities' Information Bulletin DD 13.032.

    3. Illinois Sex Offender Registry Clearance

      This clearance must be conducted at the time of hire and annually thereafter. Each employee's name must be cleared on the online Illinois Sex Offender Registry to document the person does not have a record on this registry.  Providers cannot hire individuals reported on this registry and must terminate current employee if reported.  The results of all new hire and annual clearances of this registry must be documented in the employee's personnel or training record or in a location available for review by Department staff.

    4. Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) Sanctions List Clearances

      This registry clearance is used to document individuals or entities are not on the HFS OIG Sanctions List of terminated or suspended providers and barred entities and individuals.  It is only conducted prior to employment of an individual or use of a subcontractor or licensed practitioner. Providers clear the person's name on the online HFS OIG web site. If an individual or entity is listed on the OIG Sanctions List, Providers must get approval from HFS to hire the individual or entity per its guidelines. The results of this clearance must be documented in the employee's personnel or training record or a location available for review by Department staff.

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