FAQ: Background Studies Resubmission Process

Recently members have raised questions relating to resubmitting background studies for individuals hired during the COVID-19 waiver period, and this article addresses some of the common issues we are seeing.

Who needs to have a resubmitted study? Resubmissions relate to current employees who have only had the emergency background study (without fingerprints and photographs) that the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) implemented in April 2020 in response to COVID. Individuals who received an emergency study will also need to have a fully compliant, fingerprint-based study by July 2 to continue to work after that date. The emergency studies will remain valid until July 2.

LeadingAge Minnesota is advocating for legislative action to extend that deadline from Jan. 2 to Dec. 31, but we do not yet know if this language will achieve final passage, so we recommend that providers take steps now to address needed resubmissions.

How do we identify the affected individuals? All emergency background studies specify “COVID-19 Study” in the final determination status within NETStudy 2.0. For example, if the study subject is determined eligible, the study subject’s final determination status will be “Eligible-COVID-19-Study.” Providers should be able to find a resource called “Identifying Emergency Background Studies” within the NETStudy help section.

Will NETStudy notify our employees who’ve had emergency studies when it is time for them to do the resubmission? No. Employers will have the responsibility to do this. NETStudy will not be notifying individual employees. DHS has notified NETStudy users (employers) of the need to do the resubmissions. However, our understanding is the state will not be notifying individuals with emergency studies to prompt them to undergo a fingerprint-based study. Employers will have this responsibility.

When can we begin doing the resubmissions? You can start right away. To manage the volume of studies coming in, DHS established a schedule where different provider types would begin resubmissions at different times. DHS-licensed providers started in Feb. Providers licensed by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and non-licensed providers were asked to start resubmissions on April 6.

DHS says to follow the normal background study process in NETStudy for those who need a fingerprint-compliant study. Does that mean there will be two study results in the system for these individuals? Yes. DHS has explained that for the resubmissions process, the provider will be submitting a new study request for each employee who had an emergency study; it will be the same process you would follow to initiate a study for a new hire. The emergency studies conducted earlier will remain in your portal. At this time, DHS is not planning to remove that data. It will provide documentation that an emergency study was done during the waiver period.

Please contact Jonathan Lips with your continuing questions and concerns about background studies and the return to fingerprinting.

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