The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact has officially began accepting applications from qualified physicians who wish to obtain multiple licenses from participating states.
Currently, 18 states have adopted the compact and eight additional states and the District of Columbia have introduced legislation in support of a pathway for license portability. The compact is expected to expand access to healthcare, especially to those in rural and underserved areas of the country, and facilitate the use of telemedicine technologies in the delivery of healthcare.
Licensing providers across state lines has long been a challenge. As Healthcare Informatics Senior Contributing Editor David Raths reported back in the fall of 2015 in a telemedicine policy feature story, “Clinicians who want to treat patients in another state have had to apply for and pay for licenses in those states, a costly and time-consuming process. Some state boards have sought to prevent or limit the expansion of telehealth, citing patient safety concerns,” Raths wrote at the time.
The IMLC is an agreement currently between 18 states and the 23 medical and osteopathic boards in those states. Under this agreement licensed physicians can qualify to practice medicine across state lines within the Compact if they meet the agreed upon eligibility requirements. Approximately 80 percent of physicians meet the criteria for licensure through the IMLC.
But as of late, barriers are starting to be removed. The Federation of State Medical Boards’ (FSMB) President and CEO, Humayun Chaudhry, released a statement congratulating the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Commission for officially launching the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact: “The launch of the compact will empower interested and eligible physicians to deliver high-quality care across state lines to reach more patients in rural and underserved communities. This is a major win for patient safety and an achievement that will lessen the burden being felt nationwide as a result of our country’s physician shortage. I congratulate the Commission and all of our partners who worked tirelessly over the last five years to make this day a reality.”
The Commission’s website, IMLCC.org, provides information about who is eligible to apply for expedited licensure as well as a step-by-step explanation of the application process.
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