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Best Background Check Service for Medical Practices

A Business News Daily Review

Product and service reviews are conducted independently by our editorial team, but we sometimes make money when you click on links. Learn more.

After conducting much research and analysis, we recommend HireRight as our 2019 pick for the best background check service for medical practices. To understand how we selected our best picks, you can view our methodology and a comprehensive list of background check services on our best picks page.

HireRight offers comprehensive criminal background searches, along with a wide selection of screening options specific to the healthcare industry. The company also offers a sophisticated online user platform and outstanding customer service.

The extensive screening options for the healthcare industry make HireRight a great option for medical practices. Of all the background check providers we investigated, few had more healthcare-specific searches than HireRight.

The company includes the following health care screening services:

  • Health care sanctions check (FACIS Level I, IM, II and III)
  • National practitioner data bank check
  • Health care statewide criminal check
  • Health care integrity and protection data bank check
  • OIG excluded parties check
  • General Services Administration (GSA) excluded parties check
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA) debarment list check
  • FDA disqualified/restricted/assurances lists check
  • Nurse's aide registry check
  • Professional license verification

In addition to the healthcare searches, there are two main criminal search packages you can choose from: a basic criminal background check and a more comprehensive employment background check. Here is a breakdown of each plan:

  • Social Security number verification
  • Social Security number trace
  • Seven-year misdemeanor and felony criminal search, and an unlimited number of counties as revealed by a Social Security number trace
  • National sex offender search
  • National criminal search
  • Social Security number verification
  • Social Security number trace
  • Seven-year misdemeanor and felony criminal search, and an unlimited number of counties as revealed by a Social Security number trace
  • National sex offender search
  • National criminal search
  • Education report
  • Seven-year employment history for up to three employers

Other services include drug testing, physical exams, professional license verifications, civil court searches and international criminal activity checks.

Editor's note: Looking for information on background check services? Use the questionnaire below, and our vendor partners will contact you to provide you with the information you need.


HireRight doesn't require an annual contract or charge monthly fees. You simply pay for each background check as you go. In addition, there is no minimum number of background checks you have to conduct each month.

HireRight's prices are very customized. The company works with customers to design background screening packages to fit their specific needs. HireRight will create as many plans as you want. For example, you can have one for doctors, another for nurses and another for office staff. Each plan can include as many screenings and verifications as you want.

The package prices are based on the number of screenings included, as well as on a projection of how many background checks your practice plans to conduct each year. In addition, HireRight lets you add more checks and verifications on an a la carte basis to any of your plans.

The prices we were quoted, based on 20 checks a year, were among the lowest we found during our analysis of background check services for those in the health care industry. It is important to note, however, that the prices have risen slightly since we last conducted our reviews in the fall.

Some of the other background check providers weren't as upfront with their pricing, which made it difficult to compare costs. Some of the other providers promised to send us pricing information and never did, while others were hesitant to talk specifics without us giving them a commitment of our business.

In addition to screening costs, there are several ancillary charges you can incur. Specifically, there are small charges to use the online candidate consent form and to have final reports emailed or sent to you via direct mail. The reports, however, can always be reviewed in the HireRight online portal for no extra cost.

There is also a one-time $150 setup fee. This covers the costs of customizing the online system for your medical practice and your on-site medical practice verification. However, each time we spoke to a company representative, they offered to waive the charge if we signed up for the service within a few weeks.

Before you can start ordering background checks, you need to schedule an on-site inspection of your medical practice. This 10-minute visit, conducted by HireRight's on-site inspection company, is part of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) credentialing process and is done to ensure that your practice is legitimate, located in a commercial office location and not shared with any other businesses. While visiting, the inspector will check for the following, among other things:

  1. A shredder or shredder service
  2. A computer setup with a secure internet provider
  3. Personal files that are locked up in a cabinet or filing room (proof of secured electronic files is also acceptable)

HireRight typically receives completed inspection reports within one day of the visit. If there are no problems, you can immediately start ordering background checks via HireRight's online portal.

The cloud-based system's dashboard, which is the first page you see when logging in each time, has an overview of the checks that have been completed and which ones are still in progress, an alerts section to notify you of anything that needs your attention, an announcement section, and a recent activity box to show you the most recently ordered background checks.

Unlike many of the other providers we analyzed, HireRight customizes and personalizes the online portal for your specific medical facility. The system is preset with the specific plans you created, allowing you to quickly order background checks when needed.

To order background checks, you click on the New Request tab at the top of the dashboard. Then, you pick the package you want, as well as any a la carte screenings you want added.

You have the option to fill in all of the candidate's information or to use the HireRight Applicant Center. The latter option has the job candidates input all of the information on their own and sign electronic consent forms. In addition, they can use the Applicant Center to see the status of their background checks and get notifications if HireRight needs more information to complete the process.

Once the information on the candidate is submitted, work on the report begins immediately. HireRight provides results in real time, giving you the ability to review information as it comes in.

On average, the background checks take about two days to complete. However, it can take longer for more in-depth checks. When reports are finished, you have the option of reviewing them directly in the system, having them emailed to you or receiving them via direct mail.

We found the final reports simple to read and understand. They are broken up into sections for each individual screening, such as health sanctions check, employment verification and county criminal search. Each section details exactly what type of database or information was searched.

When finished, each search is listed as complete. When nothing is found, it says "not in database," "data verified" or "no court records found." For those where something negative is discovered, it is marked complete and highlighted in red. It then indicates what the problem was, such as "discrepancy" or "violation found." Below that, it offers more details on what exactly it discovered.

One unique feature is the option to have HireRight compare completed background checks with your hiring criteria to see if the candidate will be a good fit. Many of the other services we assessed didn't offer this feature.

All of the final reports save in the system for your review at any time. You can also print them out for your own records.

We were pleased with HireRight's customer service. To test what it would be like to work with the company, we called HireRight on several occasions, posing as a medical practice operator and small business owner looking for background check services.

Each time we called, we had to leave our name and number for a representative to call us back. Initially, we were disappointed that we weren't able to speak with someone immediately. However, those concerns were eased when our calls were quickly returned each time.

We spoke with friendly and knowledgeable customer representatives during all of our calls. Even though we explained that we were only a small practice and wouldn't be conducting a lot of background checks each year, the representatives still took the time to answer all of our questions thoroughly. Many of the other providers seemed uninterested in speaking to us after finding out we were a small practice, while others immediately said they didn't serve organizations that small.

After each of our calls, the representatives followed up with detailed emails summarizing our conversation. In addition, they provided specific pricing information, descriptions of each type of screening and verification, sample reports, and a video describing how the online system works. HireRight did the best job of explaining every aspect of its service by far of all the providers we investigated.

We followed up with many of these representatives via email. Even though some of these follow-ups occurred months after our initial conversation, the representatives responded to our questions within several hours each time.

We also tested HireRight's live chat tool. Each time we asked a question, a representative answered us in detail within seconds. Many of the other providers we analyzed didn't offer live chat, and those that did weren't nearly as responsive.

HireRight representatives are available via phone, live chat and email around the clock, except between 7 p.m. (PT) on Fridays and 5 p.m. (PT) on Sundays. This is the only service we found that provides customer service 24 hours a day during the week and offers some availability on Sundays.

We were also impressed with the HireRight website, which is filled with a number of valuable resources, including details on FCRA compliance, employment laws and the background check industry. Additionally, it includes a glossary of screening terms and a FAQs section.

One downside of HireRight is the regular price increases. The company has slightly raised prices twice over the past 18 months. While costs were increased by only a small percentage each time, it still gives us concern that this trend will continue. Before you commit to HireRight, we would encourage you to speak with a representative to see if you can get locked into a certain price for an extended time.

Another negative is that HireRight is not accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners, the official accrediting agency of the background check industry, or the Better Business Bureau.

While the company is not BBB accredited, it does have an A+ rating. As of July 2017, 32 complaints had been filed against the company over the past three years. Of those, only six had been resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant. It is important to note, however, that many of the services we considered had at least some complaints filed against them with the BBB. Many of HireRight's complaints weren't from employers but from job candidates who were unhappy with what was uncovered during a background search. You can read specifics about the complaints on the BBB website


Editor's note: Looking for information on background check services? Use the questionnaire below, and our vendor partners will contact you to provide you with the information you need.


Ready to choose a background check service? Here's a breakdown of our complete coverage:

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer with more than 20 years of media experience. A graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff as a senior writer. Currently, Chad covers a wide range of B2B products and services, including business phone systems, time and attendance systems, payroll services, and conference call services. Before joining Business News Daily and business.com, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago. Chad's first book, "How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business," was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.