When Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley signed the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact(www.fsmb.org) into law on May 19, his state became the seventh to enact the legislation, triggering the formation of an Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Commission to carry out the compact's objectives.
According to a news release(www.licenseportability.org) from the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), the commission will administer a new process for qualified physicians who are seeking licensure in multiple states and jurisdictions that are participating in the compact.
"The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact will ease the physician shortage in rural and other underserved areas," said Larry Dixon, executive director of the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners, in the news release. "We thank Gov. Bentley and the state lawmakers for moving swiftly and prudently to establish a new era of care, patient protections and physician licensing."
Minnesota also enacted the compact on May 19, and Nevada came on board May 27. They join Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming in enacting the law, bringing the total number of participating states to nine.
- Alabama's enactment of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact last month triggered the formation of a new commission to administer a process for qualified physicians seeking licensure in multiple states.
- Since then, two more states have come on board, bringing the total number of states participating in the compact to nine.
- According to the Federation of State Medical Boards, the commission will meet later this year to discuss the management and administration of the compact.
The FSMB finalized the compact draft model legislation last September to create a pathway to speedier licensing for physicians who wish to practice in multiple states. The compact is intended to significantly reduce barriers to multistate practice by offering a system of expedited licensure that the member states can control through coordinated legislative and administrative processes.
Each medical license would still be issued by a state medical board, and any license obtained through the expedited procedure would provide the same licensing parameters currently provided by the state board. The only difference is that the process of obtaining each license would be significantly streamlined.
Participation in the compact is voluntary for both states and physicians.
Proponents of the compact hold that enhancing license portability and facilitating telemedicine will expand patients' access to health care -- especially in rural and other medically underserved areas. The legislation also establishes a patient's location as the jurisdiction for oversight and patient protection purposes.
Since its creation, 18 states have introduced the model bill, leaving nine state legislatures currently considering the legislation. The FSMB has created a map(www.licenseportability.org) detailing the status of compact legislation in all states.
About the Commission
According to the FSMB news release, each compact member state will appoint two voting representatives to the commission. Those chosen to serve on the commission must be:
- allopathic or osteopathic physicians appointed to a member board;
- executive directors, executive secretaries or similar executives of a member board; or
- members of the public appointed to a member board.
In a frequently asked questions document,(www.licenseportability.org) the FSMB says the commission's chief duties will be to "provide oversight and administration of the proposed Compact, create and enforce rules governing the processes outlined in the Compact, and promote interstate cooperation."
The commission is expected to meet later this year to begin its work.
Related AAFP News Coverage
Leader Voices Blog: FSMB Offers Licensing Solution for Docs Looking to Practice in Multiple States