New State APP Licenses Tips and Tricks
Getting a new state license can seem like a daunting task and brings lots of questions. How do you find the application? What do you have to disclose? What tasks do you need to complete? How much is it going to cost? Are temp licenses worth the hassle and cost? What CMEs are needed? Do I have to get a background check? How long is this all going to take?
Here at Opportunity Healthcare, we have helped many providers obtain new licenses in states all across the country. Our experience can help you navigate the ins and outs of state licensing. Each state has a slightly different process, but every state boils down to these simple steps.
1. Application acceptance
2. Education and certification verification
3. Previous licensing verification
4. CME verification
5. Background check
6. Board acceptance
7. License issued
State licenses completed mostly online. Very few states use paper applications. This is a great advantage for providers. You can review where your application is at anytime. You can be more proactive about what step you are in and help find any errors that arise. Keeping an eye on your online application regularly will help decrease your timeframe dramatically.
Verifications of your education, board certifications and previous state licenses need to be requested by you. Following up on these verifications will make sure they are received and processed quickly. Requesting your transcripts and previous state verifications at the same time you submit your application will make sure that the board has these when they need them.
Some things are out of your control, but knowing what to expect can help keep your start date on track. Background checks are the one step that can take the longest. Boards do not process fingerprints in house and send them out to the FBI. This process can and will take 6-8 weeks. Folded cards, smudged prints and forms improperly filled out can and will delay this process. Please note that the board will not pre-check your finger print cards, but simply send them to the FBI. This makes any errors cost precious time. Here are some tips when completing your fingerprints for licensing: make sure to use LiveScan where available otherwise make sure you are using form FD-258, get duplicate cards, use cardstock if you are printing your own card, only use black ink when filling out the forms, mail fingerprints with tracking to ensure delivery. We have seen fingerprints denied and returned for errors that could have been prevented by following these simple tips. Unfortunately, you can’t influence the background process to be completed quicker. Your best bet it to send your fingerprints in correct the first time.
Boards understand that background checks do take the longest time and most offer a temporary license option. Unless you have the full 8 weeks to wait for a license, it is highly recommended to apply for a temporary license. This will allow you to be licensed as long as your application is complete except for that background check. This will get you working much sooner and take away the anxiety of waiting on that background check to process. Unfortunately we are currently seeing a delay in background checks being processed. This is causing a lot of our providers to have to wait longer for their licensing than what we had previously budgeted for. Having requested a temp license before this backlog would have allowed them to begin working on their original start date.
Other advise we often give is to disclose, disclose, disclose. If there is any question on whether or not to disclose something asked in an attestation questions, it is always best to disclose. Licenses have been denied if a board finds something you should have disclosed. As minor as you may think it could be, any omission looks like you are hiding something and that comes across as untrustworthy.
Make sure you read what CMEs and prerequisites are required. These are not simply suggestions, but strict rules. Sending the requested prerequisites at the time of your application will help your process go quickly. Board members are not sitting waiting for you to get your ducks in a row. In our experience, if they work on your application and it is not complete, they will let you know and then put your application back in the pile. It then sits until they get to it again. If it is complete, they do not have to look at it again. Making their job easier makes you get your license quicker.
While these quick tips are not a guarantee of gaining a new state license, they do prove to be part of best practices and can make your new license process quicker and less painful. We take pride in helping our providers get through the license process as quick as possible. Take a look at our open jobs to see if we have an opportunity in your home state or a new state you would like to move to. We will be with you every step of the way on your new journey.