Potential Problems if You’re Licensed to Practice Medicine in Nebraska

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(Here’s a notice I was sent from someone at BUMED. I didn’t edit it. I just cut pasted it. I think “MSP” is just an abbreviation for someone who works in your Medical Staff Services department, but I could be wrong.)

The below message is now circulating through the Credentialing communities in Navy Medicine. If you are a Medical Officer with a Nebraska License, please refer to the ‘what to do’ section below:

BLUF:  Nebraska has changed their medical licensing procedures and their “active-military” category will no longer meet DoD requirement for an unrestricted license (and will not be accepted as of 1 Oct 2018).

This is projected to impact roughly 700 providers in the Navy.

 

BACKGROUND:

As some of you might recall, about 4 years ago, the Navy MSP community discovered a significant loophole for military providers who held licenses in Nebraska (NE).  Basically, the NE licensing board was issuing “Active” licenses to military providers; however, behind the scenes, the board was waiving many of the basic licensing requirements (including all Continuing Education [CE] requirements) upon proof of affiliation with the military.

This license does not meet the requirements of the DoD/DoN.  However, there was one big issue.  No one, including the NE board, was able to determine which of those “Active” licenses had waived requirements for its military licensees.

Word traveled quickly among the provider communities, and as a result, some providers actually switched their license to Nebraska, because the license was completely free. Plus, many providers realized there was no way for us to determine if they elected to obtain this free license, which also happened to waive many of the minimum licensing standards for military providers.

I was once informed by the NE board a few years ago, that majority of its military licensees elected to take advantage of the exemptions offered to military providers licensed in Nebraska.  I ran a report in JCCQAS today, and currently, the Navy has more than 700 providers licensed in the state of Nebraska.  I was not able to determine how many of those 700 NE license holders might have active licenses in other states though.

 

WHAT CHANGED:

Fast-Forward to the present time, and it appears the NE board recently made some changes.  The board still offers all the same exemptions to military providers, but now they are labeling those licenses as “Active-Military.”  This is very similar to how most licensing boards already manage their military exceptions for providers affiliated with the military.

 

HOW THIS IMPACTs MSPS & NE LICENSE HOLDERS:

The big take away here is that some of these providers who have been licensed in NE (some for MANY years), have elected to exempt themselves from the NE boards minimum licensing requirements.  We (MSPs) just never had a way of knowing if they did or not…..until now.

Now, these licenses are all about to display as “Active-Military” on the NE Board’s PSV.

Remember, this license does not fulfill the requirements for credentialing and privileging in the DoD/DoN (because it waives some of the board’s minimum licensing standards required to practice as a civilian in the state of Nebraska).

It has never been a license which meets the DoD/DoN requirements.  However, we simply never had a way to know this information before now.

 

WHAT IS THE RESOLUTION:

If you discover a Nebraska license PSV which show the license status as “Active-Military,” the provider has two choices, if the NE Active-Military license is their only license:

 

What to do about it?

  1.  If you do NOT have a NE license, but are contemplating getting one, make sure you let them know you do NOT want the “Active – Military” license, just one that says Active.  This will require you to pay a $125.00 fee, and submit CME like everyone else.
  2. If you already have a NE license and do not have an active unrestricted license in another state, then you need to convert your license from “Active-Military” to just Active.  You can achieve this by emailing the NE Department of Health and Human Services …physician licensure division and change your licensure status and they will change the title of your license. Their contact information is:  phone:  402-471-2115, email: DHHS.LicensureUnit@nebraska.govwebsite: http://dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/Pages/crl_crlindex.aspx
  3. You can also apply for a different regular active license in a state of your choosing, as long as it is not a CE exempt license.
  4. If you have a NE license AS WELL as an active unrestricted license in another state that is NOT a CE exempt license, you are good to go, just let your NE license expire and keep using your other license.

Please contact your command’s professional affairs office if you have questions.

 

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