No fingerprint-based background checks for Colorado health care professionals; bill dies in committe

A bill to require fingerprint-based background checks for Colorado health care professionals has died in a state Senate committee, ending an effort fueled by revelations that some violent felons and drug abusers have slipped under the current regulatory radar.

Brought by state Rep. Janet Buckner, D-Aurora, HB17-1121 made its waysuccessfully through the Democratic-controlled House but ran into Republican opposition in the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs committee, which killed it by a party-line 3-2 vote on Thursday.

The legislation, dubbed the Patient Safety Act, would have brought about 160,000 current health care workers in Colorado under the fingerprint check system — including medical doctors, dentists, dental hygienists, nurses, certified nurse aides, optometrists, physician assistants, podiatrists and veterinarians. They would have been required to submit fingerprints for criminal background checks to obtain licenses, as would future applicants. FULL ARTICLE