Health Sciences Bulletin

Admissions

Student Criminal Background Checks AND DRUG SCREENING

Stony Brook University Health Sciences Schools are dedicated to preparing students for a variety of careers in medical facilities, social services organizations, and other institutions.

The Health Sciences Schools require that all students participating in internships, practicums, clinical rotations, or otherwise working at Stony Brook Medicine facilities or other clinical training sites comply with the placement requirements of each respective clinical facility.

Clinical sites increasingly request students to complete criminal background checks and drug screening to meet the requirements for placement.

To facilitate placement at a clinical facility, the Health Sciences Schools will collaborate with CastleBranch, Inc. to help students obtain criminal background checks and drug screening.  CastleBranch is a vendor that specializes in higher education screening.

Students will set up student-pay accounts with CastleBranch to complete criminal background checks and drug screening that are required by clinical sites.

Students will be responsible for paying CastleBranch directly and entering into an End User Agreement to govern their use of the system.  Stony Brook University will not process payments. 

The Health Sciences Schools will certify students’ eligibility for clinical placements based on the results of CastleBranch’s criminal background checks and drug screening.

Criminal Background Checks

  1. Students who choose to be placed at a facility that requires a criminal history record check may object to completing the process. Such students may select, but shall not be guaranteed acceptance to an alternate clinical site, and may not be able to complete program requirements needed for graduation. 
  1. Criminal history screening includes a review of criminal convictions and probation. The following factors will be considered for individuals with criminal history:
    • The nature of the crime and its relationship to the position
    • The amount of time elapsed since the occurrence
    • The number of convictions
    • The age of the person at the time of occurrence
    • Whether accepting the individual for clinical instruction would pose an unreasonable risk to the facility, its employees or its patients
    • Any information produced by the person regarding their rehabilitation and good conduct 
  1. Students may provide consent for criminal background checks through the CastleBranch portal. 
  1. CastleBranch will analyze the criminal history report and determine if a student has a criminal conviction. CastleBranch will notify the respective Health Sciences School representative of any student with a criminal conviction. 
  1. The School representative will initiate a meeting with the Criminal Background Clearance Committee (Hereinafter referred to as “Committee”). 
  1. The Committee shall consult with the Office of General Counsel to review the student’s criminal history and determine their eligibility for placement at the designated clinical site. 
  1. Upon request, subject to applicable confidentiality laws and Stony Brook University policy, the respective Health Sciences School will submit a written statement to the clinical placement site that the criminal background check was conducted and that the student is eligible for placement. Ineligible students shall not be assigned to a clinical placement site.

Drug Testing

  1. Students who choose to be placed at a facility that requires drug testing may decide not to consent to the screening. Such students may select, but are not guaranteed acceptance to an alternate clinical site, and may not be able to complete program requirements needed for graduation. 
  1. Students may provide consent for Drug Screening through the CastleBranch portal. 
  1. CastleBranch will analyze the toxicology report and determine if a student is eligible for placement at a clinical site. 
  1. The Health Sciences Schools will use CastleBranch’s determination to certify that a student is eligible for placement. The drug testing services include a Medical Review Officer that will contact any student with a “non-negative” test to determine if there is an explanation (prescription, etc.). If a student has a New York State Medical Marijuana Card, the prescription will be verified by Stony Brook Medicine. 
  1. Upon request, subject to applicable confidentiality laws and Stony Brook University policy, the Health Sciences Schools will provide a written statement to indicate a student has completed drug screening and is eligible for placement. 
  1. The State of New York defines professional misconduct under New York State Education Law §6530. Professional misconduct includes impairment resulting from being a habitual abuser of alcohol or drugs that impair a practitioner’s judgment and performance (New York State Education Law §§6530(7) and (8)). Professional misconduct also results from “…being convicted of committing an act constituting a crime under New York State Law, or federal law or of the law of another jurisdiction … which, if committed under the laws of the State of New York, would have been a crime under New York State law” (New York State Education Law §6530(9)). 
  1. Students who receive adverse results for toxicology screens and/or criminal background checks may be barred from clinical placements. This will impede a student’s ability to complete a degree and/or obtain licensure in the student’s chosen field. Eligibility for licensure may depend upon work experience, completion of didactic and clinical education, not having a criminal record, and being free of illegal drugs and/or habitual alcohol abuse. Students are responsible for understanding the requirements of certification exams and licensure that are subject to change depending on the applicable certifying boards or agencies. 
  1. Generally, clinical sites will decline a student’s application for a clinical placement if the student has had a positive toxicology screen and/or a record of criminal convictions nexus to the nature and scope of work at the facility. These determinations are fact and site-specific and may depend on the laws of the jurisdiction in which the site is located. The University will not recommend students for clinical placement without the appropriate clearances. If a student is found to be ineligible due to the results of a toxicology report or criminal background check, the University will withdraw its recommendation regarding the student’s placement at the clinical site. If the adverse result(s) are discovered while the student is placed at the clinical site, the University will notify the clinical site and will remove the student from their placement. 
  1. The Office of Student Affairs will: (1) offer resources to the student through the University’s Counseling and Psychological Services (“CAPS”) and the Center for Prevention and Outreach (“CPO”) to assist the student, and/or (2) offer a meeting with University’s Student Support Team in the Division of Student Affairs to provide resources and guidance. The student may also be offered participation in educational workshops/classes, such as the University’s Substance Education course, to support healthy decision-making. Students are strongly recommended to avail themselves of all of the resources offered. Students enrolled in some non-matriculated programs may be ineligible to participate in CAPS or CPO resources but are encouraged to seek assistance through their faculty advisor.
  1. A student with a positive toxicology screen will be prohibited from participating in clinical placements. As a result, the student may be  unable to meet course objectives for classroom or clinical requirements. This may also affect eligibility for graduation and licensure. Students should consult their bulletins or their academic advisor regarding any academic consequences.
  1. The Director of Health Sciences Schools Compliance shall consult with General Counsel, the Chief Compliance Officer, and the Senior Vice President for Health Sciences before a clinical placement affiliated is notified that a student is ineligible for placement due to toxicology or criminal background check results. 
  1. Students are to immediately disclose any convictions to their Program Directors. The respective School shall initiate a Committee meeting to review any student convictions. 
  1. The Health Sciences Schools shall maintain appropriate administrative, physical, and technical safeguards to protect student information.

Student Exclusion Screening

Stony Brook Medicine facilities, and other organizations affiliated with Stony Brook University Health Sciences Schools as clinical training sites may face civil monetary penalties and exclusion from federal or state health care programs, including Medicaid and Medicare if students assigned to those sites are ineligible to participate in such programs. Therefore, all Health Sciences students shall be screened to identify persons who have been determined to be ineligible. 

Students shall immediately disclose any debarment, exclusion, suspension, or other event which make them ineligible to participate in federal or state health care programs.  Students shall immediately report such events to their Program Directors and the Office of Health Sciences Schools Compliance.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) is required to exclude individuals for the following conduct:

  • Medicare or Medicaid fraud,
  • Other healthcare fraud, theft or financial misconduct,
  • Patient abuse or neglect,
  • Felony convictions related to health care fraud, or
  • Felony convictions related to unlawful manufacturing, distribution, prescription, or dispensing of controlled substances.

 The OIG is permitted to exclude individuals for the following conduct:

  • Misdemeanor convictions related to health care fraud not involving federal or state funded programs,
  • Misdemeanor convictions related to unlawful manufacturing, distribution, prescription or dispensing of controlled substances,
  • Conviction relating to obstruction of an investigation or audit,
  • Suspension, revocation or surrender of a license to provide health care for reasons bearing on professional competence or performance or financial integrity,
  • Provision of unnecessary or substandard services,
  • Engaging in unlawful kickback arrangements, or
  • Defaulting on a health education loan or scholarship obligations.
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