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Criminal Background Checks on Docs Increasing

Criminal Background Checks on Docs Increasing
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Driving under the influence, tax evasion, fraud, battery, and sexual assault—these charges and more have been uncovered by medical boards around the country that are performing criminal background checks on physicians. Although rules vary by state, about two-thirds of medical boards have the authority to investigate the criminal history of a physician.

Over the past 15 years, state medical boards have increasingly pursued criminal background checks on physicians—those found to have a criminal record may be denied a license; others may face restrictions or no repercussions. Currently, 27 states require fingerprinting when only 7 states required it 10 years ago.

Of the nation’s 70 medical boards, 46 boards in 36 states can conduct a criminal background check as a condition of licensure. Of those, 40 boards in 31 states have access to the FBI database:

States that can access physicians’ criminal background history as a condition of licensure:

Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Boards with access to the FBI Database:

Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wyoming

Physician’s Weekly wants to know…do you think the remaining 14 states should require a background history as a condition of licensure? What stipulations (if any) should also play a role?

2 Comments

  1. if the record is not 100% accurate it is very unfair for the affected physicians.

    Reply
  2. I think all healthcare professionals should be vetted through criminal background checks and fingerprinting. I realize that would add cost to the regulating bodies, but it would be for the common good. Costs could be passed on to the individuals seeking licensure. Personality checks wouldn’t be a bad idea either (only half kidding).

    Reply

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