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Indiana panel OKs criminal checks on medical workers

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Physicians, dentists, nurses, veterinarians, pharmacists and other medical workers would have to undergo a criminal background check when applying for a new state license under a bill approved Tuesday by an Indiana House committee.

The House Public Health Committee voted 7-1 in favor of the bill, which would permit state boards to suspend, deny or revoke the licenses of people with criminal offenses determined to affect the person's ability to perform their duties.

About 30,000 people apply a year for new health care worker licenses that are issued by 18 boards or commissions, said Marty Allain, general counsel for the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency.

"The current system is self-reporting, so you're looking at a better system of getting the information to the state to make better decisions," Allain said.

The Senate already has approved a version of the bill, which also would allow state boards to randomly select some seeking license renewals for criminal checks. Nearly 200,000 people are currently licensed or certified in one of the 20 professions specified in the bill.

The bill allows action against a person's license if they've been convicted of various offenses, including illegal drug possession, fraudulently obtaining a controlled substance and sex crimes.

Rep. Peggy Welch, who is a nurse, said she was bothered by the strain on the state licensing agency, which has a budget of about $5 million while some $18 million in licensing fees are paid each year. She said most of that money was going to the state's general fund.

"I have a concern about one more fee, one more fee, one more fee," said Welch, D-Bloomington.

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  • Fine
    A criminal background check had to be done on me in order for me to be employed in school systems (both public and private), and in a government position. I see no problem with this.
  • concern
    Does this new bill incorperate paramedics and all ems personal through out are state?
    Thank You
  • Contradicting Priorities
    So they want criminal checks for health care workers but remain silent on the issue of criminal checks for those purchasing firearms or to scheck for mental disorders.

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  1. By Mr. Lee's own admission, he basically ran pro-bono ads on the billboard. Paying advertisers didn't want ads on a controversial, ugly billboard that turned off customers. At least one of Mr. Lee's free advertisers dropped out early because they found that Mr. Lee's advertising was having negative impact. So Mr. Lee is disingenous to say the city now owes him for lost revenue. Mr. Lee quickly realized his monstrosity had a dim future and is trying to get the city to bail him out. And that's why the billboard came down so quickly.

  2. Merchants Square is back. The small strip center to the south of 116th is 100% leased, McAlister’s is doing well in the outlot building. The former O’Charleys is leased but is going through permitting with the State and the town of Carmel. Mac Grill is closing all of their Indy locations (not just Merchants) and this will allow for a new restaurant concept to backfill both of their locations. As for the north side of 116th a new dinner movie theater and brewery is under construction to fill most of the vacancy left by Hobby Lobby and Old Navy.

  3. Yes it does have an ethics commission which enforce the law which prohibits 12 specific items. google it

  4. Thanks for reading and replying. If you want to see the differentiation for research, speaking and consulting, check out the spreadsheet I linked to at the bottom of the post; it is broken out exactly that way. I can only include so much detail in a blog post before it becomes something other than a blog post.

  5. 1. There is no allegation of corruption, Marty, to imply otherwise if false. 2. Is the "State Rule" a law? I suspect not. 3. Is Mr. Woodruff obligated via an employment agreement (contractual obligation) to not work with the engineering firm? 4. In many states a right to earn a living will trump non-competes and other contractual obligations, does Mr. Woodruff's personal right to earn a living trump any contractual obligations that might or might not be out there. 5. Lawyers in state government routinely go work for law firms they were formally working with in their regulatory actions. You can see a steady stream to firms like B&D from state government. It would be interesting for IBJ to do a review of current lawyers and find out how their past decisions affected the law firms clients. Since there is a buffer between regulated company and the regulator working for a law firm technically is not in violation of ethics but you have to wonder if decisions were made in favor of certain firms and quid pro quo jobs resulted. Start with the DOI in this review. Very interesting.

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