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Caregivers Criminal History Screening Program

The Caregivers Criminal History Screening Program (CCHSP) is an essential piece in the enforcement of the NMDOH policy of “Zero tolerance” of Abuse, Neglect & Exploitation (ANE) and in the DHI mission of enhancing the quality of health systems for all New Mexicans.

All current and new caregivers must receive both: A Criminal History Screening for Caregivers: Background Check, within 20 days, and a check of the Employee Abuse Registry (EAR) prior to hire.

Individuals with a disqualifying criminal conviction or who have been placed on the EAR for a substantiation of abuse, neglect or exploitation are not eligible to work as a caregiver or have access to patient/client/resident information or records.


Background Checks for Community Based Waiver Service Providers and Support Caregivers

Effective January 1, 2022, via this notice, all new hired “caregiver” employees of licensed health facilities and home and community-based Medicaid waiver programs who are defined as a “caregiver” (see 29-17-4 NMSA and 7.1.12.2 NMAC) and hired on or after January 1, 2022, shall be in compliance with 29-17-2 et seq and 7.1.12 NMAC and complete a background check at time of hire.

See memo Background Check Supplement for complete details regarding background checks for caregivers hired between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021 Any caregiver hired during the public health emergency and has not had a fingerprint background check must come into compliance by March 31, 2022.

Caregivers Criminal History Screening Act

The CCHSP was established in response to the Criminal History Screening for Caregivers Act [29-17-1 through 29-17-5 NMSA 1978 amended]. The act requires the health facilities and Medicaid community based waiver providers complete a caregiver criminal history screening no later than 20 calendar days after the first day of employment. The screening or background check includes the submission of fingerprints for clearance on the federal data system. The CCHSP receives and processes Background Check applications for criminal history screenings from care providers in the State of New Mexico.

When is Screening Required?

Any caregiver who is currently employed or any applicant that is offered employment as a caregiver with a care provider must be screened. New caregivers must receive both: a Criminal History Screening for Caregivers: Background Check, which must be submitted to the CCHSP no later than 20 calendar days after the first day of employment. And receive a check of the Employee Abuse Registry (EAR) prior to hire.


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