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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. PJ - Mall operators like Simon, and most developers/ land owners, establish individual legal entities for each property to avoid having a problem location sink the ship, or simply structure the note to exclude anything but the property acting as collateral. Usually both. The big banks that lend are big boys that know the risks and aren't mad at Simon for forking over the deed and walking away.

  2. Do any of the East side residence think that Macy, JC Penny's and the other national tenants would have letft the mall if they were making money?? I have read several post about how Simon neglected the property but it sounds like the Eastsiders stopped shopping at the mall even when it was full with all of the national retailers that you want to come back to the mall. I used to work at the Dick's at Washington Square and I know for a fact it's the worst performing Dick's in the Indianapolis market. You better start shopping there before it closes also.

  3. How can any company that has the cash and other assets be allowed to simply foreclose and not pay the debt? Simon, pay the debt and sell the property yourself. Don't just stiff the bank with the loan and require them to find a buyer.

  4. If you only knew....

  5. The proposal is structured in such a way that a private company (who has competitors in the marketplace) has struck a deal to get "financing" through utility ratepayers via IPL. Competitors to BlueIndy are at disadvantage now. The story isn't "how green can we be" but how creative "financing" through captive ratepayers benefits a company whose proposal should sink or float in the competitive marketplace without customer funding. If it was a great idea there would be financing available. IBJ needs to be doing a story on the utility ratemaking piece of this (which is pretty complicated) but instead it suggests that folks are whining about paying for being green.

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