Texas legislature considering Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

Legislatures across the country are considering a compact that could ease the ability of physicians to practice medicine across state boundaries.

State legislatures across the country are considering a new law that would ease the process for physicians to receive a license to practice medicine in multiple states. Newswise, a news source focusing on health and science news, reports nine states are already considering this piece of legislation - Texas, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont and Wyoming.

If passed, the law is designed to ease the barriers for physicians attempting to provide care in disaster areas and to reduce the difficulties of practicing telemedicine. The compact was developed by the FSMB, or Federation of State Medical Boards, a national non-profit organization that represents medical boards throughout the country. The compact has also been backed by the AMA, or American Medical Association.

Not every organization is in support of the compact. HealthLeaders Media, a news source focusing on healthcare news and business analysis, reports the IP4PI, Independent Physicians for Patient Independence and AAPS, Association of American Physicians and Surgeons criticized the compact, voicing concerns that it could lead to wealthy organizations overtaking state sovereignty.

More on the compact

The compact, titled the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, includes a specific application and issuance process. In order to receive an expedited license, the applicant must first file with the member board of his or her state of principal license. The state of principal license is defined as the state the physician already holds a license.

The member board will then review the application, ensuring the applicant is eligible for an expedited license. If eligible, a letter of qualification will be sent to the Interstate Commission. Eligibility hinges on the presence of a medical education, presence of a principal license and passage of a criminal background check. If granted, a renewal is generally issued for physicians that maintain the principal license, are not convicted of a crime and have not had any disciplinary actions or suspensions of a controlled substance license.

It is important to note that the practice of medicine occurs at the place the patient receives medical care. Also, the regulation of the practice of medicine will remain with the participating state medical boards.

Licensing issues

Unfortunately, attempting to receive a license in multiple states is only one of many medical licensure issues a physician may face. Additional issues can include criminal charges, drug and alcohol issues, stark law and anti-kickback violations as well as disciplinary actions or investigations by the Texas Board of Medical Examiners. Physicians who are attempting to navigate a licensing matter are wise to seek the counsel of an experienced physician licensing lawyer.

Keywords: Healthcare law