Legal Briefs – Unlicensed Personnel in the Care Setting

With this weekly column, Elite Healthcare provides readers with insight related to the legal implications of healthcare – offering practical guidance on scenarios that should be avoidable and providing suggested courses of action when appropriate. The examples provided here are those that all providers should be aware of, but many aren’t or are negligent despite their awareness. Don’t let your practice be compromised.

Unlicensed Personnel in the Care Setting

Unlicensed healthcare personnel are being employed in too many facilities and practices today. Of course, there shouldn’t be any such people working at all. It is the obvious responsibility of any employer to ensure that all staff members are practicing with valid licensure. Inadequate oversight of this detail is fraught with financial and legal consequences.

Additionally, as difficult as it might be to consider, there is a concerning number of clinicians who are not monitoring the validity of their own professional licensure. It should go without saying that neglecting one’s own license is terribly unwise. What might be more easily overlooked is the maintaining of one’s licensure status online with the respective medical licensing boards by state.

Even though the posting of materials on these state-run sites is handled by someone other than the practicing provider, it is the individual’s responsibility to actively review his or her online status and inform the proper authorities if an inaccuracy is present. Some states will actually discipline providers for not having an up-to-date profile. Another motivating factor is that it would be uncomfortable for a patient to access inaccurate information, not to mention unfair.


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