Background Checks - Medicaid-contracted Home Care Agencies (HCA)

Who is the information intended for?

This information is intended for employers of prospective Medicaid home care agency long term care workers who must get a fingerprint-based background check before hiring the worker. You are a Medicaid home care agency if you have a contract with an Area Agency on Aging or Aging and Disability Services Administration to provide in-home personal care services to eligible clients.

What is the process for completing a background check?

There are two steps to completing a background check:

  1. First, complete the Washington State Name and Date of Birth check. Then, if required,
  2. Complete the fingerprint-based background check. This check is run through the Washington State Patrol (WSP) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Here are the people involved in the background check process:

  • The Background Check Central Unit (BCCU).  BCCU processes background checks for DSHS programs.
  • Applicant: The long term care (LTC) worker you are considering hiring.  For home care agencies, this would be your home care agency worker.
  • Employer: The Medicaid-contracted home care agency requesting that the background check be completed.

Step 1: Complete the WA State Name and Date of Birth background check.

A. Complete the Background Authorization Form (BAF)

Section 1: Entity Information.

This section is completed only by the entity.

Processing Code: If the applicant requires a fingerprint check, put “Fingerprint Check Required” in the Processing Code box in the upper right hand corner of the form. If the applicant doesn’t require a fingerprint check but is a new hire, write “new hire” in this box. If neither applies, leave blank.

Back Check Authorization

  • 1A and 1B. Write the name and address of your agency exactly as it is listed with BCCU under your Account Number.   
  • 1C. Leave blank.
  • 2. Print and sign your name as the staff person responsible for completing and submitting the BAF.
  • 3. Do not fill out this section. This section if for DSHS State Employment only.
  • 4. BCCU account number. Enter your assigned BCCU account number.
  • 5. Leave blank or if you have an OCA #, put it here.

Section 2: Applicant Information:

  • Instruct the applicant to read and follow the instructions on the BAF for Section 2, including the information at the end of the instructions page labeled IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT ANSWERING SELF-DISCLOSURE QUESTIONS.
  • The applicant completes all of Section 2 then signs and dates the form.

Submission of the BAF to BCCU

  • Verify that the applicant has correctly and completely filled out all questions under Section 2.
  • Do not modify or make corrections to the BAF. If there are errors, the applicant must make the changes to the form.
  • Submit the form within two weeks of the applicant’s signature using either:
    • FAX: 360-902-0292
    • Mail: DSHS BCCU, PO Box 45025, Olympia 98504-5025
    • It is highly recommended that you submit the form by fax so that you meet the required timelines for the background check process and for the LTC worker to be able to apply for certification as a Home Care Aide with the Department of Health

B. Take action on the results of the WA State Name and Date of Birth portion of the background check

Reading and understanding the results

  • Following the submission of the BAF, you will receive a  Result Letter  and all RAP sheet information from the WA State Name and Date of Birth check.
    • Result Letters for BAFs submitted via fax will be mailed back to the HCA.  
  • Based on the information in the Result Letter you receive for the applicant, you must determine whether they are qualified, disqualified, or require a  Character, Competence and Suitability Review.

To understand what kinds of Result Letter(s) you will receive, what each type of letter means, and what action(s) you must take, please refer to the Interim Result Letter page.

Reviewing the results with the applicant

  • Give the applicant a copy of the Result Letter and all attachments (including RAP sheets).
  • The applicant must verify that the information in the Result letter and attachments is correct.
  • If the applicant believes any information is incorrect, they must contact BCCU at (360) 902-0299 or the agency that reported the information directly.
    • WA State Patrol (360)534-2000
    • Department of Corrections (360)725-8888
    • Department of Health (360)236-4700
    • WA Courts- Contact the court that made the decision.
  • Sometimes the applicant is able to provide written information to BCCU via an affidavit to clarify a self-disclosure or to send information from the courts or another HCA to clarify or correct results. BCCU fax is: (360) 902- 0292.
  • If BCCU receives updated or correct information, they may issue a corrected or updated Result Letter.

C. Background Checks and Hiring

  • Provisional Hiring: An LTC WORKER can be hired for a 120-day period pending the outcome of the fingerprint results. The 120-day count begins on the date of the first authorization for personal care services.
  • The 120-day period begins for HCA: If a WATCH check was completed, and the LTC worker was determined to be qualified based on the WATCH check results. Learn more about a WATCH check.
  • After the Washington State Name and Date of Birth check portion of the background check is completed and the LTC worker is NOT disqualified based on the results, and.
  • While the fingerprint-based portion of the background check is pending.

Step 2: Complete the fingerprint portion of the background check.

If, based on the results from the Washington State Name and Date of Birth check results, you determine that the LTC WORKER is:

  • Disqualified, do NOT complete the fingerprint portion of the background check.
  • Qualified, complete the fingerprint portion of the background check as soon as possible.

Begin the fingerprint portion of the background check immediately after receiving the Interim Result Letter and determining the LTC worker is NOT disqualified. Schedule the fingerprinting appointment as soon as possible after receiving the Interim Result Letter.

Home care agencies may choose to use local law enforcement instead of MorphoTrust to complete fingerprinting. If you choose to use local law enforcement, you are responsible for payment for fingerprinting and reprinting. Read instructions for using local law enforcement to roll fingerprints.

1. Fill out the Fingerprint Appointment Form

  • Download the Finger Print Appointment form (Word ) (PDF)
  • Complete the Fingerprint Appointment form. This form must be completed by both the HCA and the LTC WORKER. This form includes instructions and information about the appointment and lists required information needed for the Washington State Patrol/FBI to complete the background check.
    Fingerprint Appointment
  • Once completed, verify that the LTC WORKER has filled it out correctly. Verify that the OCA# is correct.
  • The LTC WORKER must keep the form and bring it with them to the MorphoTrust fingerprinting appointment. MorphoTrust is the company that has the contract with DSHS to complete electronic fingerprinting for applicants.

Originating Case Agency (OCA) #

The OCA# is an important identifying tracking number between BCCU, MorphoTrust, and DOH.

HCA:

The Interim Result Letter lists the applicant’s OCA #.

Show the applicant where the OCA# is on the letter.

Explain to the applicant that they will need it for the Fingerprint Appointment Form, the Application for Certification as a Home Care Aide, and at the fingerprinting appointment.

NOT having the OCA# in all of these cases brings an immediate and delaying stop to the background check and certification process.

2. Set up the fingerprinting appointment

  • The fingerprint appointment can be set up either by your agency or the LTC WORKER. The person scheduling the appointment will need the information listed on the Fingerprint Appointment form and cannot be scheduled without the OCA#.
  • Appointments can be scheduled at any number of MorphoTrust locations either:
    • Online at www.identogo.com, (NOTE: reprints can NEVER be scheduled on-line); or
    • By calling 1-888-771-5097
  • The HCA should know when the appointment is scheduled and should confirm the LTC WORKER is going to the appointment. The LTC WORKER should be reminded that results MUST be received within 120-day- no exceptions. They will not be able to work if the HCA does not have a copy of the fingerprint results.
  • The LTC WORKER must bring the following to their fingerprint appointment:
    • The Fingerprint Appointment Form. The correct OCA # is mandatory, and
    • An approved picture ID (as listed in the Fingerprint Appointment Form).
  • The HCA must either get a copy of the MorphoTrust receipt from the LTC WORKER confirming fingerprinting is done or if you have access to the MorphoTrust website you may print confirmation that the applicant has attended the appointment.
  • Once the fingerprints have been taken they are sent to the Washington State Patrol and the FBI.

3. Take action on the results of the fingerprint portion of the background check

  • Fingerprint Rejects
    • The Washington State Patrol (WSP) may rejects fingerprints for a number of reasons. They will notify BCCU when they reject prints, and BCCU will, in turn, notify the LTC WORKER.
    • Contact the LTC WORKER immediately and schedule an appointment for reprinting.
    • Note that WSP may reject fingerprints multiple times before they determine that they have the best prints they can get.
    • LTC WORKERs who received two consecutive fingerprint rejects within 60-days should:
      • Immediately contact MorphoTrust by phone and schedule a third appointment.
      • Contact BCCU: Joyce Hallmark, 360.902.0299, joyce.hallmark@dshs.wa.gov to request that a supervisor from MorphoTrust be present at their scheduled appointment. This communication to BCCU may also be made by the Department or agency.
      • Contact BCCU: Joyce Hallmark, 360.902.0299, joyce.hallmark@dshs.wa.gov to provide the new appointment date and time. BCCU will contact MorphoTrust’ s Regional Supervisor to request a supervisor be present at the re-printing appointment in order to help obtain the best prints possible.
    • Once prints are accepted by the WSP, they will submit the best fingerprints to the FBI.
    • The FBI may reject fingerprints two times before they decide that they can only do a national name and date of birth check.

It is the LTC WORKER’s responsibility is to get reprints done as soon as possible in all instances. If the fingerprint-based portion of the check is not back by the 120th day, the LTC WORKER cannot have unsupervised contact/work with vulnerable adults.

  • It can take days to weeks for BCCU to get the FBI fingerprint results back. Once results are received, BCCU sends the final Result Letter back to you. If there are conviction, pending charges, and/or negative actions, the Final Result letter will tell you that the results are based on the fingerprint-based check and provide the results to you if you are a governmental agency or sub-contracted governmental agency.
  • The law prohibits BCCU from including FBI criminal history results to non-governmental agencies or clients. To see any FBI result records, a non-governmental agency or client must have the LTC worker request those records from BCCU and provide them to you if they choose. If an applicant does not wish to share results, you may not have enough information to hire him or her.
  • Please refer to the Final Result Letter page for information about how to make a determination and what to do next.

Based on the information in the Final Result Letter, you must determine whether the LTC WORKER is qualified, disqualified, or requires a character, competence, and suitability review.

Reviewing the Results with the LTC WORKER:

  • Give the applicant a copy of the Result Letter and all attachments (including RAP sheets).
  • The applicant must verify that the information in the Result letter and attachments is correct.
  • If the applicant believes any information is incorrect, they must contact BCCU at (360) 902-0299 or the agency that reported the information directly.
    • WA State Patrol (360)534-2000
    • Department of Corrections (360)725-8888
    • Department of Health (360)236-4700
    • WA Courts- Contact the court that made the decision.
  • Sometimes the applicant is able to provide written information to BCCU via an affidavit to clarify a self-disclosure or to send information from the courts or another HCA to clarify or correct results. BCCU fax is: (360) 902- 0292.
  • If BCCU receives updated or correct information, they may issue a corrected Result letter.
  • HCS/AAA/governmental sub-contracted AAAs will see the FBI information. In order for a client or non-governmental sub-contracted AAA to see any FBI result records, you may ask the LTC WORKER request those records from BCCU and provide them to you. The LTC WORKER may decline to provide the records but this may mean that you do not have enough information to make a hiring decision.

Additional Support

If after reviewing these instructions you have questions about the information you get from BCCU, DOH findings, other registry findings, a rejected Background Authorization form or want assistance with a Character, Competence and Suitability review, contact the following DSHS staff.

Paula Renz, Program Manager, Home Care Agencies
Phone: 360.725.2560
RenzP@dshs.wa.gov

Definitions

  • Applicant The long term care (LTC) worker you are considering hiring. For home care agencies, this would be your home care agency worker.
  • BAF means the Background Check Authorization form.
  • BCCU means the Background Check Central Unit. This unit is part of DSHS and is responsible for processing the background check forms, reviewing results, and sending Result Letters to the entities who submit the BAF.
  • Employer/HCA: The Medicaid-contracted home care agency requesting that the background check be completed.
  • MorphoTrust is the name of the contracted entity that completes the electronic fingerprinting. Applicants go to local MorphoTrust offices to get fingerprinted.