Earlier this month, the Patient Safety Act (HB17-1121), a bill requiring fingerprint-based criminal history record checks for many Colorado health professionals, died in the Senate Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs when it was postponed indefinitely. The bill would have required applicants for initial licensure or certification, as well as current licensees and certificate holders, to submit to a fingerprint-based criminal history record check for a number of health providers, including podiatrists, dentists and dental hygienists, medical doctors, physician assistants, and anesthesiologists, nurses, CNAs and others. If passed, this legislation would have removed Colorado from the list of one of only five states that don’t require fingerprint background checks for nurses and one of only six that don’t fingerprint doctors, according to sponsor State Rep. Janet Buckner.
The bill’s sponsors suggested The Patient Safety Act would have been a win for health care organizations in terms of patient safety and transparency. For now, Colorado will continue to rely on self-disclosure for past criminal convictions.
If you have any questions or need guidance on this matter, please call the Caplan and Earnest health care section at 303-443-8010.