Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Would Create New Opportunities for Locum Tenens Physicians
A national initiative to streamline licensing for physicians who want to practice in multiple states is moving steadily forward. Adoption of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact would create new opportunities for locum tenens physicians, as well as for telemedicine/telehealth programs.
The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) reports that ten states have introduced legislation to support the compact, which serves as model for facilitating multistate practice while maintaining critical state oversight, accountability and patient protections. “We look forward to working with states that wish to implement this innovative new policy,” said Humayun J. Chaudhry, DO, MACP, president and CEO of FSMB.
The initiative was launched by the FSMB in 2013 and included input from a number of state medical board representatives. The consensus principles of the draft compact include:
Participation in an interstate compact for medical licensure will be strictly voluntary for both physicians and state boards of medicine.
Participation creates another pathway for licensure, but does not otherwise change a state’s existing Medical Practice Act.
The physician would be under the jurisdiction of the state medical board where the patient is located at the time of the encounter.
Regulatory authority will remain with the participating state medical boards.
State boards participating in an interstate compact are required to share complaint / investigative information with each other.
In a recent press release, the FSMB noted that the compact would not force practicing physicians to participate in additional levels of specialty certification maintenance beyond basic licensing and standard continuing medical education (CME). “Participation in the proposed compact is totally optional, and is intended only for those physicians who wish to practice in multiple states and who want to avoid the process of applying for multiple state licenses one at a time,” said the FSMB.
The Interstate Compact has been endorsed by physician organizations, including the American Medical Association (AMA), and by 25 of the nation’s state medical and osteopathic boards. It has been introduced in 10 state legislatures (Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming).
All Medical Personnel urges all physicians interested in locum tenens or telemedicine opportunities to track the progress of the interstate compact in their state legislatures this year.