More Physician Licenses Expire With Georgia's Proof-of-Citizenship Requirement

A new law in Georgia that requires physicians and other health professionals to prove their legal residency when renewing their professional licenses is causing problems due to a lack of administrative resources, according to an American Medical News report.

Beginning in January, Georgia healthcare providers and employees were required to prove their citizenship or legal residency when applying for or renewing their licenses. Confirming their citizenship was one provision of several included in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011. The law was intended to prevent employers from hiring illegal immigrants and to penalize those that do.

However, licensing administrators say the law is problematic because understaffed offices are unable to keep up with the additional paperwork and responsibilities.

Donald J. Palmisano Jr., executive director and CEO of the Medical Association of Georgia, said physicians are filing the information with the medical board, "but the medical board simply doesn't have the resources to verify the information in any timely way," according to the report. Mr. Palmisano said the association would back legislation to remove the proof-of-citizenship requirement.

Of 1,749 physicians who applied for license renewals since the new requirements took effect, 13.5 percent of the licenses expired before they were renewed, according to the report. Only 2.8 percent of medical licenses were renewed late in the year prior.

More Articles on Legislation Affecting Physicians:

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Physicians Appeal Virginia's CON Requirement to Higher Court

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