New Jersey Department of Health Clarifies that third parties cannot assist facilities with Cullen Form process

On May 15, 2017, the New Jersey Department of Health ("Department") adopted a new regulation implementing the Health Care Professional Responsibility and Reporting Enhancement Act ("Cullen Law"). The new regulation includes an updated CN-9 Form, titled "Health Care Facility Inquiry Regarding Health Care Professional" ("Cullen Form"), that now requires facilities to make a signed certification pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:45E–6.1(a).

In the Department's Summary of Public Comments and Agency Responses issued along with the new regulation, in response to a question asking whether the Department had contemplated that the inquiring facility may utilize an outside entity to make inquiries (such as reference checks) to other facilities, the Department responded as follows:

"The Department does not contemplate the delegation the commenter describes. The Health Care Professional Responsibility and Reporting Enhancement Act does not authorize health care entities to delegate their responsibilities to report to the Clearinghouse Coordinator or to make or respond to inquiries to healthcare entities."

Additionally, during a webinar the Department held on June 28, 2017, through the New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA), the Department responded to several questions on whether a third party can assist facilities with the processing of the Cullen Form by stating that the statute requires the inquiry to be sent by a healthcare entity to another healthcare entity and the Cullen Form can never be used or processed by a third party (including a background check company). The Department further clarified that the background check company is permitted to conduct the rest of the background check, but cannot assist facilities with the Cullen Form.

In light of the Department's position on third parties assisting with the Cullen Form, Certiphi Screening will no longer be able to assist clients with processing of the Cullen Form effective July 15, 2017. Please contact your account manager with any questions.

Please also stay tuned for an upcoming White Paper on the Cullen Law and the recently promulgated regulation.

Posted: July 7, 2017