AddVal Recommends Conducting Criminal Background Check as Part of Credentialing Process

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Activity can prevent future problems

AddVal, Inc., a nationwide medical credentialing firm, is recommending that healthcare providers conduct criminal background checks as part of their standard credentialing process. Some state license boards already require criminal background checks with license applications and renewals. If the candidate’s fingerprints are not on file and a thorough criminal background check accomplished, the license will not be issued or renewed. Whether or not a state has a law that requires a criminal background check should not be the driving force behind adding this activity to the credentialing process. It just makes good sense to protect your organization by being diligent during the hiring process.

Criminal background checks, as a prerequisite to employment, have been the norm for many years in most industries. Just because a medical position is involved does not mean that there is a reduced risk. Failing to do a thorough check can put hospitals at risks in the form of "negligent credentialing" lawsuits by patients. And while hospitals engage in rigorous credentialing of applicants for medical staff membership, many hospitals today do not obtain criminal background checks.

“A hospital's failure to have criminal background checks done on applicants for medical staff appointments can increase its risk of liability for negligent credentialing. In today’s litigious society, hospitals must protect themselves from this liability and it’s fairly easy to do. If a hospital decides to obtain criminal background checks, it must be aware of state and federal laws that limit the manner in which background checks may be performed and the uses that can be made of that information. Knowing these rules is essential to ensuring that background checks do not create more problems than they solve. An experienced credentialing services company will know the rules for criminal background checks and ensure the hospital remains in compliance,” explained Michelle McFarlane, founder and CEO of AddVal, Inc.

“The accurate credentialing and screening of physicians is critical for any medical organization. In fact, it can literally be a matter of life and death. For medical organizations, the financial risks and liability for the negligent hiring of a physician can be devastating,” McFarlane continued.

Doctors, as individuals are no more immune from problems and difficulties then any other professional group. In addition, just because someone presents himself or herself as a doctor by no means ensures they are currently licensed or have ever been licensed. There is a wide spread problem of doctors continuing to practice, even though they have lost their license or have been charged with criminal acts. Another problem is individuals who pose as doctors who are not licensed. This can happen with individuals who failed to complete medical school, have foreign training or attended an off-shore school, but have not obtained the required medical license.

Hospitals and medical groups should be prepared. They should insist that their credentialing service add a criminal background check to its process. A physician in good standing should have no problem with being subjected to this activity. Most likely, the organization’s nurses, technicians and even custodians are already being checked. Why not the physicians?

About AddVal Inc.
Founded in 1995, AddVal currently serves over 5,000 clients, providing experienced medical credentialing. The company employs a unique blend of talented individuals experienced in clinical administration, healthcare insurance and medical credentialing. This team, combined with a singular focus on credentialing, produces unrivaled results for its clients.

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Ford Phillips
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