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Group Hopes to Ease Multi-State Licensure for Doctors


An association of state medical boards is hoping to streamline the process for doctors who wish to gain licensure in multiple states.

The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) is hoping a proposed multistate agreement will help reduce the number of hurdles doctors face when trying to practice in multiple states.

The association this month hailed the completion of draft legislation that would create an “Interstate Medical Licensure Compact,” which would speed up the process of issuing licenses for doctors who wish to practice in more than one jurisdiction. The model legislation is intended to be used as a starting point for states hoping to address the problem.

“With the drafting process complete, state legislatures and medical boards can now begin to consider the adoption of this model legislation establishing an interstate medical licensure compact,” said Dr. Humayun J. Chaudhry, president and CEO of FSMB, in a press release.

The compact would retain prevailing licensure standards, and participation by physicians and states would be voluntary. States would also keep the right to impose adverse actions on physicians who violate standards within their jurisdiction.

Kevin Bohnenblust, executive director of the Wyoming State Board of Medicine, said the draft legislation is welcome news for many physicians.

“This expedited process will let us meet our responsibility to allow capable and qualified physicians to practice medicine in a safe and accountable manner while protecting patients and expanding and improving care,” he said. “The interstate compact will be a useful tool for medical boards seeking that balance.”

The issue of multiple-state licensure has long been a headache for doctors who live near state borders and wish to practice on both sides of the border. However, it’s become a particular problem with the dawn of telemedicine, as doctors find regulatory hurdles restrict their ability to embrace new technologies.

A study released last month found the US healthcare system could save $6 billion if physicians replaced in-person visits with telemedicine appointments where it was medically appropriate to do so. The study found more than one third of employers plan to have a telemedicine program by next year, with more employers coming online in future years.

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