Professional Licensing and Public Safety

You can’t work with licensing authorities for a living without getting moderately cynical and we half-heartedly plead guilty to that charge. Earlier this year, we conducted a public poll of licensing experts and found that we were in good company – cynicism is widely shared among our colleagues in tax and legal departments across the country and that world-weary cynicism is perfectly encapsulated by the question, “Why do licensing authorities pass new compliance laws?” Overwhelmingly, people responded that the main reason is to close revenue gaps in the municipality. To protect the public’s safety and well-being was a distant second.

That widespread perception may have been influenced by the sour state of America’s economy (it really is true that local municipalities are starved of much needed revenue) or it may be a permanent fact of the business license compliance landscape. Either way, we take satisfaction in highlighting instances of licensing authorities ramping up their enforcement of laws and even creating new laws when there really is a strong public safety concern at heart.

Yesterday, New Hampshire passed a new law that will require medical technicians to seek licensure from the New Hampshire Board of Registered Medical Technicians prior to practicing or advertising services in New Hampshire. These licenses will require applications and fees along with fingerprints and criminal history reports.

Why the fuss? It all dates back to 2011 when a traveling medical technician named David Kwiatkowski infected dozens of patients at Exeter Hospital with Hepatitis C. The New Hampshire Business Review has all the details on the new law and what it means for healthcare companies in the region.