A nursing facility or home health care agency requesting a search and exchange of records under this section shall submit to the Attorney General through the appropriate State agency or agency designated by the Attorney General a copy of an employment applicant’s fingerprints, a statement signed by the applicant authorizing the nursing facility or home health care agency to request the search and exchange of records, and any other identification information not more than 7 days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays under section 6103(a) of title 5) after acquiring the fingerprints, signed statement, and information.
Pursuant to any submission that complies with the requirements of subsection (a), the Attorney General shall search the records of the Criminal Justice Information Services Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for any criminal history records corresponding to the fingerprints or other identification information submitted. The Attorney General shall provide any corresponding information resulting from the search to the appropriate State agency or agency designated by the Attorney General to receive such information.
Information regarding an applicant for employment in a nursing facility or home health care agency obtained pursuant to this section may be used only by the facility or agency requesting the information and only for the purpose of determining the suitability of the applicant for employment by the facility or agency in a position involved in direct patient care.
Not later than 2 years after October 21, 1998, the Attorney General shall submit a report to Congress on the number of requests for searches and exchanges of records made under this section by nursing facilities and home health care agencies and the disposition of such requests.
Whoever knowingly uses any information obtained pursuant to this section for a purpose other than as authorized under subsection (c) shall be fined in accordance with title 18, imprisoned for not more than 2 years, or both.
A nursing facility or home health care agency that, in denying employment for an applicant, reasonably relies upon information provided by the Attorney General pursuant to this section shall not be liable in any action brought by the applicant based on the employment determination resulting from the incompleteness or inaccuracy of the information.
The Attorney General may promulgate such regulations as are necessary to carry out this section, including regulations regarding the security, confidentiality, accuracy, use, destruction, and dissemination of information, audits and recordkeeping, the imposition of fees, and any necessary modifications to the definitions contained in subsection (i).
(i) In this section:
The term “home health care agency” means an agency that provides home health care or personal care services on a visiting basis in a place of residence.
The term “nursing facility” means a facility or institution (or a distinct part of an institution) that is primarily engaged in providing to residents of the facility or institution nursing care, including skilled nursing care, and related services for individuals who require medical or nursing care.
(Pub. L. 105–277, div. A, § 101(b) [title I, § 124], Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681–50, 2681–73.)