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Background Checks Coming For Home-Aid Workers, State Can’t Exclude All Felons

Michigan cannot ban all felons from being caregivers in the state’s Medicaid in-home care program.

That’s according to state officials who outlined a new background check system Monday. The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher has more.

People convicted of patient abuse or neglect, healthcare fraud, or drug-related crimes will be barred from working with in-home Medicaid patients. But state officials say federal law prevents them from excluding people based on crimes that are not related to in-home care.

Jim Haveman directs the Michigan Department of Community Health. He says the state will still screen for violent crimes so patients can choose not to work with a caregiver.

“What’s important is that they have the information,” he says.  “And then it’s up to them to make that decision and to verify it with us, that they’ll well aware of what decision they’re making.”

A recent state audit suggested the health department and the Department of Human Services failed to protect patients in the program and misspent millions of dollars over three years.

Jake Neher is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He covers the State Legislature and other political events in Lansing.
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