I am the HR Supervisor for a medical company. Up until this point we have not done background checks on employees. Our CSO has informed me that according to HIPAA regulations, any employee who has access to patient information is required to have had a "clean" background check.
From a labor standpoint, I have a number of questions.
- Can we do background checks on current employees?
- If a current employee's background check comes back with a problem (as it pertains to HIPAA/patient care), can we terminate him/her?
- Can we institute background checks as a prerequisite for employment?
- Can we pick and choose which employees get background checks (i.e. only employees with access to patient data, but no one else)?
Before I talk to the COO/CFO about instituting background checks (and paying for them!), I want to make sure I have these answers.
**edited to add**
We are a Georgia-based company with employees in GA, AL, MS, LA, and NC