Kentucky state lawmakers are currently debating a new bill that will require all employees at long-term healthcare facilities to undergo criminal background screening
. Its goal to is to protect elderly patients from the predatory practices of criminals who find their way to staff positions at nursing homes, ESR News reports. Currently, state law mandates criminal background screening only for those employees who work in direct care of patients and residents at private nursing homes and assisted-living complexes. The bill under discussion would extend that mandate to all employees regardless of their responsibilities. “Elderly nursing home residents are among the most vulnerable of our citizens, and we need a law like this to keep them from becoming easy targets of abuse and exploitation," Lee Coleman, an attorney representing a number of victims in support of the bill, said in a statement. One Indiana healthcare provider saw the financial pitfalls of poor background screening. According to McKnights magazine, American Senior Companies was fined $376,000 by the U.S. Inspector General's office for failing to properly screen seven employees with criminal records.