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New commission to help streamline medical licensure

Alabama this week became the seventh state to pass legislation to join the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact that will ease medical licensure burdens in some states. Passage of this seventh state launches the compact, and work will begin to create an interstate commission that will oversee the compact.

The compact is designed to facilitate a speedier process with fewer administrative burdens for physicians seeking licensure in multiple states.

Here’s how:

  • The eligible physician designates a member state as his or her state of principal licensure and selects other member states in which he or she desires a medical license.
  • The state of principal licensure verifies the physician’s eligibility and provides credential information to the interstate commission.
  • The commission collects applicable fees and transmits the physician’s information and licensure fees to the additional state medical boards.
  • Upon receipt by the additional state medical boards, the boards will grant the physician a license.

The commission also will create and enforce rules governing this process, but will not have authority over a state’s medical practice act. Each state participating in the compact will have two representatives on the commission.

The AMA endorsed the compact—an initiative of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB)—in November. The AMA also created new policy to work with interested medical associations, the FSMB and other stakeholders to ensure expeditious adoption of the compact and the creation of the interstate commission.

Among states that adopt it, the compact would act as an independent law and as a contract among the states to help ensure ongoing cooperation and adaptation. It’s based on several key principles:

  • 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 AMA’s principles for telemedicine.
  • Regulatory authority will remain with the participating state medical boards.
  • Participation in the compact is voluntary for both physicians and state boards of medicine.

FSMB has created a map that highlights the growing support in state legislatures for the compact. The interactive map allows physicians to see whether their state has introduced and passed legislation to join the compact.

For more information, visit the AMA Web page on telemedicine

Update: Minnesota became the eighth state to pass legislation to join the compact, with the governor signing the bill into law Tuesday.