interstate-licensure-may-16

Enacting the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact: One Year Later

On May 19 of last year, the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Commission was enacted, when Alabama became the seventh state to officially enact it.

One year later, 16 states have now enacted the Compact, with four states  Arizona, New Hampshire, Kansas and Mississippi  enacting it this month alone. Currently, 10 additional states have introduced legislation to adopt the Compact, with legislation in Colorado currently awaiting the signature of Gov. John Hickenlooper.

By expediting the licensure process and increasing licensure portability, widespread enactment of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact would make it easier for providers using telemedicine to bring health care to rural and underserved areas. According to a 2009 study, 96 percent of counties in the U.S. have an unmet need for prescribing providers.1

“As telemedicine transforms access to care and providers increasingly seek licensure in multiple states, certain components of current medical licensure requirements have become unnecessarily redundant, time-consuming, and restrictive,” says Geoffrey Boyce, Executive Director of InSight Telepsychiatry.

Ultimately, Interstate Medical Licensure Compact is expected to make the licensure process quicker and easier by allowing state licensure boards to share information and reduce the number of repetitive steps taken to obtain a new license in another state.

The Compact maintains the existing authority of all participating state’s licensing boards, and states will still receive the licensing fees associated with physicians applying for and maintaining licensure.

“The true power of this Compact is large scale collaboration,” Boyce says. As more states continue to propose and enact the Compact, they take steps in the right direction toward increasing access to care through telehealth.

To learn more about the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Commission, visit LicensePortability.org.

Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

References

[1] Konrad, T. Ph.D., Ellis, A., M.S.W., Thomas, K., M.P.H., Ph.D., Holzer, C., Ph.D., Morrissey, J. Ph.D. (2009, Oct). Psychiatric Services, 60(10):1307-1314.

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