Blog | Monday, July 28, 2014

QD: News Every Day--Interstate physician licensing compact tries to streamline process, boost telemedicine

The Federation of State Medical Boards unveiled an updated draft interstate compact that could streamline requirements for physician licensure and telemedicine.

“The goal of the Compact is to ensure that qualified physicians are able to practice medicine in a safe and accountable manner and that the strongest health care consumer protections are maintained,” said Humayun J. Chaudhry, DO, MACP, president and CEO of FSMB. “The revised compact helps ensure that as the practice of telemedicine continues to expand, patient protection remains a top priority. We look forward to sharing the revised compact with state medical boards across the country and look forward to working with them to achieve implementation.”

The Compact is designed to streamline an alternative pathway for state-based licensure, create a new process for faster licensing for physicians interested in practicing in multiple states, including those who practice telemedicine, and reaffirm the location of a patient as the jurisdiction for oversight and patient protections.

Specifically, the draft compact would:
• require physicians who wish to participate in the compact to submit to fingerprinting or other biometric background checks to be eligible for licensure in additional states;
• alter specialty board certification requirements of the compact to clarify that those with time-unlimited certification are also eligible under the compact; and
• require that physicians who wish to participate in the compact pass each component of the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) or the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medicine Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA) within 3 attempts.

The Compact doesn’t establish standards for telemedicine practice. Physicians ineligible for the Compact may still use existing pathways to acquire multiple state medical licenses.