Tenn. health care licensing online

Health care workers in Tennessee can now renew their licenses and pay for them online, representing the latest and most complex of a series of projects the state has developed to move its licensing and other services online.

The new health care service will eliminate the three- to four-week wait when renew licenses through the paper-based system, said Diane Denton, a spokeswoman for Tennessee's Department of Health. And, she added, because many workers also tend to wait until the last minute to renew their licenses, it may also cut down on the time they are not available to work.

"This has been a really big project for us," Denton said. "There are around 200,000 licensees in the state and 68 different licensing boards, and we had to get them all up on the Web site at the same time."

Development of the health care licensing program (www.TennesseeAnytime.org) began in September 2000, and the service went live in January 2002.

Other online services due this year include income tax filing, unemployment claims and summaries of child support payments.

"[Going online] all comes down to which agency is ready to move with a service," said Angela Nordstrom, director of Tennessee Anytime. She expects the rate at which services are made available online will accelerate. "The governor has asked each government agency to name three services they would like to bring online over the next year, from the grandiose to the most simple."

Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore. He can be reached at hullite@mindspring.com.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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