The Georgia Department of Community Health Extends Deadline for Fingerprint Background Checks for Existing Staff

Written by: Brittany H. Cone, Esq. and Jordan Johnson, Esq.

In May 2018, Georgia passed the Georgia Long-term Care Background Check Program, which required fingerprint criminal background checks of applicants for employment and direct access employees at assisted living communities, nursing homes, personal care homes, and other long term care facilities. Prior to this, owners and directors were required to submit fingerprint background checks as a part of the licensure process, while basic background checks were required for all other applicants.

This law initially required that existing (those in place prior to October 1, 2019) owners, directors, onsite managers, administrators, and direct access employees submit a records check application by January 1, 2021. Due to the enhanced strain on our long term care providers brought about by COVID-19, the Georgia Department of Community Health has extended the deadline for the above existing owners, administrators, and staff to obtain a fingerprint background check until January 1, 2022. Additionally, the Department of Community Health eliminated the 30-day grace period while the check is pending effective October 1 for new hires in permanent positions.

Should you need any assistance interpreting or applying these revised instructions, please contact us.