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AMA backs interstate compact to streamline medical licensure

A special compact designed to facilitate a speedier medical licensure process with fewer administrative  burdens for physicians seeking licensure in multiple states received the support of the nation’s physicians with a new policy adopted Monday at the 2014 AMA Interim Meeting.

The model legislation was developed by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) to make it easier for physicians to obtain licenses in multiple states while providing access to safe, quality care.

Under the new policy, the AMA will work with interested medical associations, the FSMB and other  stakeholders to ensure expeditious adoption of the compact and the creation of an Interstate Medical Licensure Commission.

“At least 10 state medical boards have adopted the compact, which streamlines the licensing process for physicians seeking licenses in multiple states and increases patient access to telemedicine services,” AMA President Elect Steven J. Stack, MD, said in a news release. “We encourage more states to sign on to the compact so that we can ensure standards of care are maintained, whether treatment is provided in-person or via telemedicine.”

The compact, which was released in July, is based on several key principles, including:

  • The practice of medicine is defined as taking place where the patient receives care, requiring the physician to be licensed in that state and under the jurisdiction of that state’s medical board. This tenant aligns with the principles for telemedicine that were developed by the AMA Council on Medical Service and adopted at the 2014 AMA Annual Meeting.
  • Regulatory authority will remain with the participating state medical boards, rather than being delegated to an entity that would administer the compact.
  • Participation in the compact is voluntary for both physicians and state boards of medicine.