Local IHSS Agencies Not Furnishing Background Checks on Caregivers
Local agencies that manage hiring for California's In-Home Supportive Services program say the state has not provided them with sufficient guidance to implement a law requiring the agencies to furnish no-cost background checks on IHSS caregivers, the Los Angeles Times reports.
In 2008, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) signed a bill (SB 692), by Sen. Roy Ashburn (R-Bakersfield), which requires IHSS Public Authorities to provide IHSS beneficiaries with no-cost criminal histories of their caregivers upon request.
The agencies say they have not made the criminal records available because the Schwarzenegger administration has yet to develop regulations or provide funding for the law's implementation.
John Wagner, director of California's Department of Social Services, acknowledged that the state has yet to issue regulations on implementing SB 692.
Wagner said the Schwarzenegger administration has not worked more aggressively on the background check regulations because state leaders have focused on prohibiting people with certain felony convictions from working for IHSS (Halper, Los Angeles Times, 9/30).
In related news, local district attorneys are beginning to report results from the state's $26.5 million effort to fight fraud in the IHSS system.
For example, Sacramento County has identified more that $500,000 in fraud and about $2 million in overpayments, according to Sacramento Deputy District Attorney Laura West.
Schwarzenegger has said the anti-fraud program could reduce state spending by $130 million. So far, state officials have yet to release cumulative data on the total amount of IHSS fraud uncovered (Maclachlan, Capitol Weekly, 9/30).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.