Encouraging Move By FSMB

October 6, 2014 by By InTouch Health

The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) recently released its final version of an interstate medical licensure compact that makes it faster and easier for physicians to get licensure in multiple states.  Although the compact doesn’t meet all of ATA’s goals, it’s certainly a step in the right direction.

The compact allows physicians to obtain an “expedited” license in states other than their own without having to provide the massive documentation required in a formal application. Physicians would still have to pay a hefty fee (up to $2,000) for each expedited license.

To take effect, the FSMB compact must be approved by seven state legislatures. That should be fairly easy to achieve in 2015, since three state medical boards have already approved the compact and others are leaning that way. Very few legislatures are willing to buck their own medical boards.

The compact will help streamline multi-state licensure not just for doctors practicing telemedicine but for the thousands of locum tenens physicians who take short-term assignments in underserved communities across America. The compact will also make life easier for physicians whose service area straddles multiple states, like those in Washington, D.C., Memphis and Kansas City.

The compact falls short of the ATA’s desired goal: a single medical license honored across all 50 states. Both FSMB and the American Medical Association still staunchly insist that a physician must be licensed in the same state as the person receiving care. That’s like requiring a Seattle stockbroker to get additional licenses for helping clients in Florida and New York.

Although the compact isn’t perfect, it shows that attitudes are changing quickly. The fast-track licensure gaining momentum will hopefully pave the way for the ultimate prize: one license honored in every state.