Close up image of a caretaker helping older woman walk
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Nineteen percent of long-term care nursing aides who were found guilty of on-the-job abuse, neglect, or property theft in 2010 had prior criminal convictions, a recent federal report revealed.

An Affordable Care Act-mandated analysis of skilled nursing facility background checks for nursing aides found that, out of the 1,611 nursing aides charged with abuse, neglect, or property theft in 2010, 300 had at least one prior criminal conviction. This is according to a report released in early October by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General. 

The most common (53%) prior conviction was for crimes such as burglary, shoplifting and writing bad checks. Additionally, “nurse aides with substantiated findings of either abuse or neglect were 3.2 times more likely to have a conviction of crime against persons than nurse aides with substantiated findings of misappropriation,” report authors noted.

One reason for the mandated report is to assess the ability of a background check programs to reduce the number of incidents of neglect, abuse and misappropriation of resident property. The OIG made no recommendations.