Cyberattacks disrupt major US health provider: Weekly regulatory news
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The Week in Brief is your weekly snapshot of regulatory news and what's happening in the world of professional licensing, government technology, and public policy. Cyberattacks cause issues for one of the largest U.S. health systems, North Carolina moves away from exam-only school principal licensure, and more in our weekly look at regulatory news.

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Cyberattacks disrupt major US health provider

CommonSpirit Health, a U.S. health care system operating over 700 sites, has been the target of a cyberattack that has caused disruptions in the company for nearly two weeks. The breach has prompted the company to take several systems offline, including ones containing electronic patient records. The attack is confirmed to have affected hospitals in Nebraska, Iowa, Washington, Texas, and Tennessee, but the company has declined to release further details. With doctors left to take hand-written notes and deliver them physically, patient care has already begun to suffer. In one case, a patient with a brain bleed was unable to receive a CT scan while the systems were offline. Read more at The Verge. 

NC moves forward with school principal licensure reform 

North Carolina’s State Board of Education has agreed on a proposal to reform principal licensure in the state, deviating from the current exam-only system. Though stakeholders have been pushing to completely discontinue licensure exams, board members found them troublesome to eliminate in practice. Instead, the board has put forth a recommendation to supplement these exams with portfolio evaluations, which provide a more holistic picture of a principal candidate’s work and education. According to State Superintendent Catherine Truitt, the decision to move away from examinations arose from the fact that the vast majority of principals pass them easily. The proposal is now headed to the state’s General Assembly. Read more at NC Policy Watch 

Hawaii’s governor pushes to increase in-state reproductive health protections 

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Hawaii’s governor has issued an executive order intended to bolster protections for women who receive abortions in the state. Governor David Ige’s order prohibits all state officials from cooperating with other states in efforts to prosecute people who have received abortions legally in Hawaii. The order also contains provisions intended to protect abortion providers in Hawaii who have previously performed the procedure in states where it is now illegal. Governors in Nevada, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and a few other states have issued similar orders in response to the Supreme Court’s decision. Read more at CNN Politics. 

Colorado announces new Digital Government Strategic Plan 

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has announced a new state plan to improve digital services for the public. The Colorado Digital Government Strategic Plan, launched in part by the Office of Information Technology (OIT), aims to connect Coloradans more effectively and make government services more accessible. It includes plans such as connecting all constituents to high-speed Internet and using data to create comprehensive analytics that give regulators a better understanding of the challenges they face. To guide agencies on when to take each new step, the plan proposes three “waves” of digital transformation, staggered over six-to-12-month periods. Read more at GovTech. 

Survey finds Americans support license mobility for military family members 

A recent survey conducted by Embold Research found that many Americans support interstate license mobility for military family members. Merit, a licensing verification service provider, commissioned the research as part of its work with a handful of nonprofit organizations to relax licensing rules for military families. Proponents of interstate licensing argue that it removes unnecessary barriers to entry (like fees and licensing exams) for certified professionals who relocate and want to continue practicing. Though every state has passed some form of legislation allowing professional mobility for military family members who are forced to move, the scope of these laws varies from state to state. Read more at Military.com. 

In other news…

  • Kenneth Pierce, a Kaysville chiropractor, has been sentenced to multiple prison terms for committing sexual offenses against at least eight female patients in his practice. Judge Ronald Russell ordered that Pierce serve three years to life for one charge and one to 15 years for each of the other seven. The order comes as part of a plea deal that includes dropping 13 other charges. 
  • Maine’s Board of Licensure in Medicine (BOLIM) is, for now, standing by its decision to suspend Dr. Meryl Nass’s license over allegations of spreading misinformation regarding COVID-19. In addition to the misinformation claims, the board’s investigation last year also found that she did not maintain patient records adequately in her telehealth practice. 

Also noteworthy: 

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BC expands licensure pathway for international doctors: Weekly regulatory news 

The Week in Brief is your weekly snapshot of regulatory news and what's happening in the world of professional licensing, government technology, and public policy.
British Columbia expands licensure pathway for internationally educated doctors, Ohio amendment could change the future of social work, proposal to reduce cosmetology licensure hours in Virginia sparks backlash, and more in our weekly look at regulatory news.

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Jordan Milian
Written byJordan Milian
Jordan Milian is a writer covering government regulation and occupational licensing for Ascend, with a professional background in journalism and marketing.

IN BRIEF

Doctors handshaking.
British Columbia
BC expands licensure pathway for international doctors: Weekly regulatory news 

The Week in Brief is your weekly snapshot of regulatory news and what's happening in the world of professional licensing, government technology, and public policy.
British Columbia expands licensure pathway for internationally educated doctors, Ohio amendment could change the future of social work, proposal to reduce cosmetology licensure hours in Virginia sparks backlash, and more in our weekly look at regulatory news.

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