Indianapolis Senator and registered nurse Patricia Miller has asked for legislation requiring mandatory background checks for medical health care providers (i.e., doctors, nurses, licensed midwives…). There are 24 healthcare fields, which while licensed, currently do not require criminal background investigations.
Quite a few issues immediately come to mind. In the health care field then, would failing background checks be legitimate grounds for rejecting job applicants or firing employees? What would be the anticipated effect on malpractice insurance? If a licensed medical practitioner is charged with (not convicted of) a crime during the interim in renewing his/her license, must s/he report this action? We realize that medical schools and other healthcare learning institutions (for PAs, RNs…), hospitals, medical offices, agencies… have set individual entity requirements regarding criminal background checks but without standardization of this requirement and a federal database containing this information, it is still too easy for an identity thief or prescription drug “reseller” to slip through the cracks. Here in NYS, while there is regulation requiring the fingerprinting of health care workers, again, it differs from entity to entity whether there is minimal compliance or a more comprehensive background conducted (which would include a credit check of the prospective employee, if they are in a financial fiduciary position).
We are keeping a very close eye on this proposal for legislation in Indiana as, if ratified, it will almost undoubtedly impact on other states’ medical care workers licensing requirements. (For more on this subject, please read below, with the full article linked in from WIBC, Indianapolis.)
Senator Proposes Criminal Background Checks for Doctors, Nurses
Bill would cover as many as two dozen health-related professions
By Eric Berman
Doctors and nurses in Indiana may soon have to undergo criminal background checks.
Indianapolis Senator and registered nurse Patricia Miller says she’ll ask legislators next year to require doctors, nurses, and as many as 22 other health-care providers to pay for a federal background check to get their licenses.
Indiana requires licensing for more than 200 professions, but only real estate appraisers, security guards and private investigators must undergo background checks. Miller says health professionals, from acupuncturists to veterinarians, should join them.
“(It’s because of) the exposure, hands-on care with patients, the high standards that I think health providers ought to have,” Miller says. “It may well be that at some future time we need to look at that laundry list, but for this session, I was interested in addressing what I think is the most serious part of all of this.”
The bill would also require county prosecutors to notify the attorney general‘s office whenever a licensed health professional is convicted of a crime.
It would be up to the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency’s boards to decide whether an applicant should be rejected over a past conviction.
Please let us know your thoughts below on this legislation proposal.
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Filed under: background checks, license, medical malpratice | Tagged: background check, Business, database, doctors, Health care, investigation, medical, nurses, Patricia Miller, security | 3 Comments »