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FBI questions medical licensure compact’s background check requirements

The FBI informed states planning to participate in the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact that legislation allowing them to take part in the compact does not meet the requirements that would allow the agency to share information with states for criminal background checks.

Set to go into effect in January 2017, the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact will allow doctors who hold medical licenses in a state that participates in the compact to easily obtain licenses in other states that also partake in the compact. According to a compact information website, 17 states have joined the compact, and nine states have introduced legislation to do the same.

In a July 7 letter to Minnesota's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the FBI said that the state’s law that would allow them to participate in the compact does not meet the requirements of the federal regulation that would allow the agency to share information with the states for purposes of criminal background checks. The FBI believes there is no federal statutory authority for the FBI to share criminal history information with a private organization such as the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact.

The law “appears to authorize the dissemination of FBI [Criminal History Record Information] to the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Commission which is a private nongovernmental agency; it does not indicate that fingerprints will be submitted to the FBI and it does not authorize the use of FBI records for the screening of applicants,” said FBI attorney Christopher B. Chaney in the letter.

The FBI also notified Montana of similar concerns regarding its own proposed law.

Despite the FBIs contention these states’ proposed legislation does not meet criminal background check requirements, the states involved have said that they are working with the Bureau to arrive at a solution that will satisfy all parties involved.

Source: Inside Health Policy, 8/24/2016

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