Physicians applying for a license to practice in Indiana will be required to include an FBI background check along with their application under a proposed Senate bill.
Sen. Patricia Miller, R-Indianapolis, announced that her proposal would alert the state licensing board of health professionals who have committed crimes. Her measure would apply to new licenses for professionals who provide hands-on care to patients.
Under current law, background checks are required for nurses.
“As a registered nurse, I know the importance of having professional caregivers who are highly moral and ethical,” said Miller. “It is essential that Indiana’s public policies protect patients and do so at little or no cost to the state.”
If the proposal becomes law, health care providers applying for their first license or certification would have to pay for a criminal background check, which costs $50-$75. The results would go to the appropriate licensing agency. Also, prosecutors would be required to notify the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency if a licensee is convicted of a crime.
Last year, the ISMA House of Delegates approved a policy supporting criminal background checks.
“We appreciate Sen. Miller’s efforts to protect vulnerable patients, and we are working with her on a final draft of the bill,” noted Mike Rinebold, director of ISMA’s Government Relations Department.
About 34 states require background checks for health professionals at licensure and spend millions to implement the program, according to Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller. Sen. Miller’s proposal would be cost neutral.
ISMA policy on criminal background checks for health care professionals
RESOLVED, that the ISMA encourage legislation in Indiana requiring a nationwide criminal background check on all applicants before hiring into a position in which they may be caring for vulnerable patients; and be it further
RESOLVED, that the ISMA encourage the AMA to support federal legislation requiring a nationwide background check on applicants before hiring into a position in which they may be caring for vulnerable patients; and be it further
RESOLVED, that ISMA encourage the AMA to support legislation to establish a nationwide criminal database.