Opening your doors to the right healthcare professionals first requires you to check if their licenses are valid and up-to-date. After all, as a healthcare organization, you want only the safest and most efficient care offered to the patients.
There can be, however, many instances where a person either chooses to practice without a license or has their license suspended due to unethical practices. Without the right verification and monitoring system, you might end up overlooking either of the cases. This could, in turn, cause heavy charges to rain down on your organization.
Sure, healthcare license and monitoring are critical if you’re aiming to offer quality patient care. But how exactly can you know if your background checks are 100% accurate? How can you keep track of licenses to ensure they remain valid throughout the time your staff is a part of your organization? How long does the process take and is there a way technology can help work on it faster and more efficiently? Read on to understand.
Know and Check the Correct Databases
Every state in the U.S. comes with its own licensing board. In other words, a doctor who has the license to practice in one state might not be licensed to practice in another state.
So, when the time comes to hire a medical professional, it’s critical to check all the applicable registries and databases to ensure their license is valid.
By examining national healthcare certification and registration organizations including the State Board of Medical Examiners and the American Allied Health for the state you operate in, you can determine the correct databases. This will in turn help you find out if a specific candidate has a current and valid healthcare license.
Let’s take a comprehensive look at the healthcare license monitoring authorities that are involved in license verification and healthcare credentialing.
National Healthcare Certification and Registration
The role of national certification and registration organizations is to determine whether every practicing healthcare professional possesses the complete requirements for a specific discipline or job. The American Allied Health, for instance, offers online certification for several medical assistant and technician roles. Healthcare providers can acquire a national certification if they furnish their education and experience requirements alongside passing an exam.
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State Board of Medical Examiners
Every U.S. state has a State Board of Medical Examiners. It is through them that qualified individuals who have graduated from approved medical schools receive their healthcare licenses. In order to administer care, it is compulsory for each candidate to hold a valid license. State boards of medical examiners are also responsible for investigating and administering disciplinary actions against individuals who violate any of the state Medical Practice Acts.
Joint Commission and Healthcare Accreditation License Standards
The Joint Commission, CARF, NCQA, and more are responsible for ensuring healthcare providers offer safe patient care. These healthcare accreditors are non-profits. They team up with several healthcare organizations to evaluate and promote the safety and quality requirements around healthcare.
HHS OIG and CMS Guidelines
The authority to impose penalties or fines for any false claims billed or inadequate credentials is with the HHS Office of Inspector General. In the arena of healthcare compliance, healthcare organizations are required to constantly track the Office of Inspector General (OIG) List of Excluded Individuals and Entities (LEIE) to ensure none of the excluded individuals work at your facility.
Use Automated Systems to your Benefit
You may have a solid recruiting system to hire the best healthcare professionals. But the quality of your services and the safety of your patients are in line if you lack a thorough license monitoring system. If a physician loses their license or if any other healthcare professional forgets to renew it, your facility might end up being vulnerable to risks of legal charges and expensive fees.
On average, there are about 80 physicians in a hospital. In addition, there are many more healthcare professionals and nurses. Monitoring licenses of each and every staff member regularly would've been impossible a few years ago.
But today, automated systems can help you get the task done quickly and efficiently. It’s very convenient to use automated software to verify and monitor licenses – simply run the software and you’ll have the complete picture of your staff's licenses in no time along with relevant notifications and alerts.
Establish Ongoing Monitoring
You might hire someone who has an active license. However, that doesn’t imply the candidate will continue to have a valid license down the line. Licenses can expire if the medical professional fails to renew them. In addition, many doctors lose their licenses due to unethical behaviors.
Without constant monitoring practices, there is no way of knowing which licenses have expired. This can prove disastrous for your organization in the long run.
But how frequently should you be monitoring licenses? The answer depends on the state you practice in. While some states have no monitoring requirements at all others may require monthly monitoring. The best practice is to monitor licenses at least once in four months to ensure they remain updated and no medical professional has any complaints registered against them.
The best way to stay on top of monitoring is to use automated software that can run regular checks on licenses and immediately update you if there are any changes in them.
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Partner with a Third Party
Partnering with a third party can help ensure you’re monitoring medical licenses consistently and efficiently.
Companies like Compliance Line offer a powerful blend of automated software and expert support to help in monitoring and verification of the licenses of your staff in a streamlined and error-free manner.
Aside from helping you avert the risks associated with unverified or outdated healthcare license holders, a third party can help relieve your HR department from the workload. This significantly reduces burnout among your HR professionals and other administrations. In addition, with minimal effort, you stand to dodge any risks associated with inadequate credentials, expired licenses, or other ill-practices related to healthcare licenses. Lastly, great third-party software ensures 100% safety and quality of your patient care services.
Giovanni Gallo is the Co-CEO of ComplianceLine, where his team strives to make the world a better workplace with compliance hotline services, sanction, and license monitoring, and workforce eLearning software and services.
Growing up as the son of a Cuban refugee in an entrepreneurial family taught Gio how servanthood and deep care for employees can make a thriving business a platform for positive change in the world. He built on that through experience with startups and multinational organizations so ComplianceLine’s solutions can empower caring leaders to build strong cultures for the betterment of every employee and their community.
When he’s not working, Gio’s wrangling his four young kids, riding his motorcycle, and supporting education, families, and the homeless in the Charlotte community.