The Federation of State Medical Board (FSMB) released a final version of its Interstate Medical Licensure Compact last week. The compact would allow physicians who have a license in one state to apply to receive an expedited medical license in another state that has adopted the compact.
According to Medscape, three state medical boards have already adopted the compact and the president of the FSMB expects more will follow suit. To take effect, the compact must be approved by at least seven state medical boards. State medical boards that approve the compact will maintain the authority to approve applications and discipline physicians, while making the path to licensure easier for physicians. Physicians who are licensed in one compact state can apply for an expedited license without having to complete a formal application or providing additional documents. Compact states will also be able to share provider information essential to the licensing process across state lines. Physicians who practice in multiple states will still need to obtain a license in each state and pay the necessary application fees; however, the compact should make the process much quicker and easier.
This is good news for locum tenens physicians who typically practice in multiple states and thus must obtain multiple state licenses. The requirements for licensure vary widely in many states, which can make the process long and difficult for locum tenens physicians and the healthcare organizations that hire them. A lengthy licensing process can be particularly problematic for organizations that have an immediate need. States that adopt a more streamlined licensing system will ensure that healthcare organizations in the state have better access to locum tenens providers who often work in underserved areas. They will make it easier for telemedicine interactions, which require physicians be licensed in the state where the patient is located. The licensing and credentialing team at Barton Associates is monitoring state adoption of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact as part of its commitment to making the licensing and credentialing process as quick and efficient as possible for all of our locums.