Tennessee Registry Check Law

November 11, 2010

The Tennessee General Assembly passed House Bill 2284, as amended. The legislation is effective October 1, 2010. Under this amendment, before employing any person who will be providing direct patient care for whom a background check has not been completed, a health care professional licensed under state law regarding professions of the healing arts, alcohol and drug treatment, emergency services, or any health care facility must initiate and perform a registry check.

"Registry check" means:

1) A state-by-state look in any state in which the person has lived in the previous seven years of the national sex offender public registry website, including the sexual offender registry maintained by the Tennessee Investigation Bureau (TBI);

2) Any adult abuse registry maintained by any state in which the person has lived in the previous seven years; and

3) The Tennessee Department of Health's elder abuse registry.

If an applicant is listed in any of these registries, the health care professional or facility may not employ or contract with the person if the person would be providing direct patient care. These provisions do not apply to contracted, external staff who provide such services as maintenance of office or medical equipment, cleaning services, or other services where direct patient contact is not intended.

Employers for whom this requirement is applicable have two options. You may assign an individual to conduct the required registry checks for individuals providing direct patient care.
Alternatively, you may utilize the services of a third party to conduct background checks on these individuals.

Contact SESCO should you need assistance in implementing background checks. You may reach us by phone at 423-764-4127 or by email at sesco@sescomgt.com .