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NYS Comptroller


Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Department of Health
Criminal History Background Checks of Unlicensed Health Care Employees (Follow-Up)

Issued: November 20, 2018
Link to full audit report 2018-F-13
Link to 30-day response

To determine the extent of implementation of the one recommendation included in our initial audit report, Criminal History Background Checks of Unlicensed Health Care Employees (Report 2016-S-65).

Our initial audit report examined whether the Department of Health (Department) effectively oversaw and monitored efforts by Nursing Homes, Adult Care Facilities (ACFs), and Home Health Care (HHC) providers to adequately safeguard patients through requests for required criminal history background checks when hiring unlicensed persons in direct care positions. The audit report concluded that the Department generally met its obligations for conducting background checks on unlicensed employees of Nursing Homes, ACFs, and HHCs, according to State requirements. However, we identified 24 applicants whose determination letters were not completed timely and, as a result, the individuals could have been allowed to work for periods ranging from 2 months to as long as 28 months without final clearance. Of these, eight applicants (who were ultimately denied eligibility) actually worked on a provisional basis, for periods between 3 and 14 months while their background checks were pending.

Key Finding

  • We found that the Department has made significant progress addressing the issues identified in our original audit. The Department has implemented the one recommendation contained in our original audit report.

Key Recommendations

Other Related Audit/Report of Interest
Department of Health: Criminal History Background Checks of Unlicensed Health Care Employees (2016-S-65)

State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director: Brian Reilly
Phone: (518) 471-3271; Email:
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of State Government Accountability; 110 State Street, 11th Floor; Albany, NY 12236