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March 5, 2002
Introduced by Reps. Lourie, J.E. Smith, Howard, Wilder, Cobb-Hunter, Bales, Barfield, Keegan, Snow, Ott, Sinclair, Walker, Riser, Parks, McLeod, Allison, Koon, Frye, McGee, Martin, Hosey, Clyburn, Gilham, Altman, Meacham-Richardson, Kirsh, J. Hines, Mack, Miller, Cotty, Hamilton, Law, Hinson, Chellis, Harrison, Neilson, Weeks, Owens, Loftis and Bingham
S. Printed 3/5/02--H.
Read the first time January 9, 2001.
TO AMEND CHAPTER 7, TITLE 44, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO HOSPITALS, TUBERCULOSIS CAMPS, AND HEALTH SERVICES DISTRICTS, BY ADDING ARTICLE 23 SO AS TO REQUIRE STATE AND FEDERAL CRIMINAL RECORD CHECKS OF DIRECT CAREGIVERS EMPLOYED BY NURSING HOMES AND HOME HEALTH AGENCIES, TO PROVIDE FOR TRANSFER OF INFORMATION AMONG FACILITIES AND AGENCIES, TO PROVIDE PENALTIES, AND TO PROVIDE THAT STATE CHECKS ARE NOT REQUIRED FOR DIRECT CAREGIVERS EMPLOYED ON JULY 1, 2001, UNLESS THEY SUBSEQUENTLY ARE UNEMPLOYED FOR ONE YEAR OR LONGER.
Amend Title To Conform
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Chapter 7, Title 44 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
Section 44-7-2910. (A) No direct care entity may employ or contract with a direct caregiver until after the direct caregiver has undergone a state criminal history check. However, pending the results of the criminal history check, a person temporarily may be employed or contract as a direct caregiver with a direct care entity. A direct care entity must consider the information revealed by a criminal history check as a factor in evaluating a direct caregiver's application to be employed by or contract with the entity.
(B) For purposes of this article:
(1) 'Direct care entity' means:
(a) a nursing home, as defined in Section 44-7-130;
(b) a daycare facility for adults, as defined in Section 44-7-130;
(c) a home health agency, as defined in Section 44-69-20;
(d) a community residential care facility, as defined in Section 44-7-130;
(2) 'Direct caregiver' or 'caregiver' means:
(a) a registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, or certified nurse assistant;
(b) any other licensed professional employed by or contracting with a direct care entity who provides to patients or clients direct care or services and includes, but not limited to, a physical, speech, occupational, or respiratory care therapist; or
(c) a person who is not licensed but provides physical assistance or care to a patient or client served by a direct care entity.
Section 44-7-2920. To be employed by or to contract with a direct care entity as a direct caregiver, a person first shall undergo a state criminal record check to be conducted by the State Law Enforcement Division or by a private business, organization, or association which conducts background checks if that entity utilizes current criminal records obtained from the state law enforcement division to determine any state criminal history. Pending the results of the criminal history check, a person temporarily may be employed or contract with a direct care entity. The results of the criminal history check are valid and are not required to be repeated as long as the person remains employed by or continues to contract with a direct care entity; however, if a person is not employed by or is not under contract for one year or longer with a direct care entity, the criminal history check must be repeated before resuming employment or contracting with a direct care entity.
Section 44-7-2930. A direct care entity shall furnish copies of personnel records of current or former direct caregivers to another direct care entity requesting this information. Information contained in the records may include, but is not limited to, disciplinary matters and any reasons for termination. A direct care entity releasing these records pursuant to this section is presumed to be acting in good faith and is immune from civil and criminal liability which otherwise may result by reason of releasing this information."
SECTION 2. Notwithstanding Article 23, Chapter 7, Title 44 of the 1976 Code, as added by Section 1 of this act, a person who is employed by or under contract with a direct care entity, as defined in Section 44-7-2910 of the 1976 Code, as added by Section 1 of this act, on July 1, 2002, as a direct caregiver, as defined in Section 44-7-2910, is not required to undergo a state criminal history check. However, after July 1, 2002, if a direct caregiver is not employed by or is not under contract with a direct care entity as a direct caregiver for one year or longer, the person must comply with all requirements of Article 23.
SECTION 3. This act takes effect July 1, 2002.
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