Health Care Licensing

Colmon Elridge, Director of CSG's National Center for Interstate Compacts, outlines compacts to watch in 2016, including those dealing with health care licensing and the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement, which seeks to achieve interstate reciprocity in the regulation of distance education.  He also discusses non-congressionally consented compacts and international interstate compacts.  

From transportation to health care and education, there is no shortage of issues confronting state governments across the nation. As states continue to shape priorities while still rebounding from the Great Recession, increasingly they are working--erasing the silos of state lines--to meet the needs of the American people, state by state.

The interstate compact is one of the few tools specifically granted...

The lack of access to quality and affordable health care in rural areas coupled with disparities in access to newer technologies, medicines and treatment options, also contribute to rural communities being perilously underserved.

A long sought-after pathway for medical doctors to treat patients across state lines moved one step closer to reality with the inaugural meeting of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Commission—or IMLC—held Oct. 27-28 in Chicago.

Telehealth is one of the fastest growing sectors within the health care industry. Nurses are increasingly being asked to deliver care through electronic means, offering opportunities for better patient care regardless of geographic boundaries. The NLC is a state-based licensure model that facilitates innovative care models by allowing nurses to legally deliver that care to patients through a multistate license. The NLC also has economic benefits, as it facilitates and expedites the hiring process for employers in their state, by enabling them to verify licenses online and to recruit from other states without having to go through the entire endorsement process. The NLC reduces licensure fees for nurses who practice in more than one state, eliminates unnecessary duplicative license procedures, reduces a nurse’s ability to move to another state to avoid a disciplinary action, and provides more expedient access to nurses in times of national crises. In the face of calls for the federal government to address health care licensing nationally, the NLC also offers a state-based solution to the claims that licensure is a barrier to interstate practice.

In 2002, the NCSBN Delegate Assembly approved the adoption of model language for a licensure compact for APRNs that would facilitate interstate practice for all four APRN roles: nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, clinical nurse specialists, and nurse anesthetists. Under the APRN Compact, only states that adopted the RN and LPN/VN NLC would be eligible to implement the compact for APRNs. Utah was the first state to pass APRN Compact legislation in 2004 (Senate Bill 107) with Iowa following shortly thereafter that same year (House File 784). Texas passed the law in June 2007 (House Bill 2426). Implementation of the APRN Compact was halted due to issues surrounding lack of uniformity of APRN titles and practice from state to state. In response, NCSBN, along with other nursing organizations, developed and began implementing the APRN Consensus Model, which addressed these problems.