Caregivers Criminal History Screening Program (CCHSP)
The Caregivers Criminal History Screening Act (CCHS) was passed during the 1998 Legislature. This law requires that persons whose employment or contractual service with a care provider includes direct care or routine and unsupervised physical or financial access to any care recipient served by that provider must undergo a nationwide criminal history screening to ensure to the highest degree possible the prevention of abuse, neglect or financial exploitation of individuals receiving care. This law prevents persons who have been convicted of certain crimes from working with individuals receiving health care. The law is very specific about the conviction history and the care provider's responsibility, as well as the types of crimes and convictions.
This program is an essential piece in the enforcement of the Department of Health's (DOH) policy of "Zero tolerance of abuse, neglect and exploitation" and in the Division of Health Improvement's (DHI) mission of enhancing the quality of health systems for all New Mexicans.
DHI/CCHSP Mailing Address
P.O. Box 25886
Albuquerque, NM 87125
TEL: (505) 476-0801
FAX: (505) 424-7974
CCHS Program Manager
PH: (505) 476-0801
Who Must Comply?
Any person or entity identified as a "care provider" or "provider" must comply with this law. This includes any facility such as: skilled nursing; care for mentally retarded; psychiatric care; rehabilitation; home health agency; homemaker agency; home for the aged or disabled; group home; adult foster care home; guardian service provider; case management entity that provides services to people with developmental disabilities; private residence that provides personal care; adult residential care or nursing care for two or more persons not related by blood or marriage to the facility’s operator or owner; adult daycare center; boarding home; adult residential care home; residential service or rehabilitation service authorized to be reimbursed by Medicaid; any licensed or Medicaid-certified entity or any program funded by the State Agency on Aging that provides respite companion or personal care services; or programs funded by the Adult Services Division of the Children, Youth and Families Department that provide homemaker or adult daycare services.
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 caregiver applications must be submitted to the CCHS Program no later than 20 calendar days after the first day of employment.
What Information is Required?
Care providers must submit a complete criminal history-screening packet for each caregiver for which they are requesting a national criminal history screening.
Each CCHS packet requires, among other things:
- Three (3) completed fingerprint cards;
- Copy of a photograph identification, (Drivers License or Passport) that meet the requirements of the Immigration and Naturalization Act;
- A signed Authorization for Release of Information form including social security number; and
- A $65.00 fee for each application submitted for criminal screening.
Rules and Regulations set forth the requirements and procedures for submission of applicant and caregiver fingerprints, payment of fees, and administrative reconsideration for caregivers with prior conviction history. Fees are necessary, as this Program does not receive General Fund Appropriations from the Legislature.
How Long does it take for Clearance to be received?
The CCHS Program electronically submits information within 24 hours, however, a final clearance may be determined in as little as 7 days, if an application has no record or as many as 90 days, depending on criminal charges, or other inter-agency processing.