Physicians and Cognitive Decline A Challenge for State Medical Boards

“Cognitive decline is a very serious and prevalent problem, and it can’t be ignored. So medical Boards are tasked with safeguarding patient welfare, and this is one area where they really could make a difference,” says Sharona Hoffman, a Hahn Professor of Law, in an interview with the Journal of Medical Regulation. The interview focuses on her recent article for JMR: Physicians and Cognitive Decline: A Challenge for State Medical Boards  Her article helps to answer the question as to whether state medical boards need to identify clinicians with cognitive decline. Research in the article found that “as many as 28% of US physicians with active licenses who are aged 70 and older have mild cognitive impairment or dementia.” The paper reviews how state medical boards currently handle this issue. The article suggests that state medical boards adopt late career screening programs to help balance the interest of clinicians and patient safety. While focusing on state medical boards, the recommendations offer relevant information to all state licensing boards overseeing health care providers.

Indiana Nursing Board Changes Policies to Address Federal Law Violation

The Indiana State Nursing Board agreed to change the board’s policies to address the board’s federal law violations. Earlier in the year the U.S. Department of Justice found that the board violated federal law by discriminating against nurses with substance use disorders. The DOJ found that a program to rehabilitate and monitor nurses violated the Americans with Disabilities Act; the program prohibited nurses who use medication as part of their recovery to participate in that program.  As part of a settlement, according to WFYI on September 1, the board now allows those nurses using medication for their recovery to take part in the program. The DOJ also requires that the board pay $70,000 to the person who filed the complaint.

Okla. Cosmetology Board Taken to Court for Eyelash Extension Rules

Licensed eyelash extension specialist Brandy Davis filed a lawsuit September 7, according to the Institute for Justine, challenging the Oklahoma Cosmetology Board’s licensing requirements for eyelash extension specialists. Davis hoped that when she moved to Oklahoma from Texas that she would get a reciprocity license acknowledging her Texas license. The Oklahoma State Board of Cosmetology and Barbering, however, does not offer a license for eyelash extension specialists; the board told Davis she must get a full esthetician or cosmetology license to give clients eyelash extensions. According to the Institute for Justice, “to obtain the esthetician or cosmetology license the Board requires, Brandy will have to complete 600 hours of esthetician coursework, 1,200 hours in an esthetician apprenticeship, 1,500 hours of cosmetology coursework, or 3,000 hours in a cosmetology apprenticeship. None of the programs are required to cover issues related to eyelash extensions. Afterward, Brandy would have to complete two exams, which also do not test eyelash extensions.” 


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