Report: What Medical Practices Using Employee Credit Reports Should Know

Medical practices interested in accessing the credit reports of new hires must take precautions to avoid legal repercussions and the alienation of potential employees, according to an American Medical News report.

The number of physician office employees will grow by almost one-third between 2010 and 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and an incompatible hire can lead to decreased productivity that some practices say amounts to a $50,000 loss. An increasing number of medical practices are therefore turning to credit histories in addition to criminal background checks when considering potential hires.

However, those in charge of the hiring process should be aware that federal law prohibits denying employment due to bankruptcy. Seven states currently limit the use of a credit report in hiring, and 29 others are considering or have considered doing so.

''Proceed with caution,'' said Christina Stovall, a director of the human resource outsource firm Odyssey OneSource. ''You should have a bona fide business reason to run that report. What is really the purpose of gaining this information?''

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