Why Doesn't Colorado Require Background Checks for Doctors?

Aug 3, 2016

Credit Darko Stojanovic / Creative Commons

In Colorado, there’s no way for hospitals and care centers to know if the doctor they hire has a criminal record. That is, the doctor or nurse is expected to personally divulge the information. Otherwise, no background check requirement is in place.

This sets Colorado apart from most other states, reports The Denver Post. In fact, 45 of the 50 state medical boards require criminal background checks to license a caregiver.

It’s a problem that the Post has reported on before, to no avail. In the past, Colorado’s loose screening of applicants has allowed nurses with criminal convictions for sexual offenses, drug offenses and violent crimes to escape detection, sometimes for years. And licensed doctors with a history of driving under the influence, tax evasion and drug abuse have been found to be working in the state.

State law requires applicants for a medical license to detail their past convictions on their applications.