Key US Senators Encourage Development of Medical Licensing Compact

A letter dated January 9, 2014 and signed by 16 US Senators commended efforts to develop an Interstate Medical Licensing Compact.  The bi-partisan group of Senators, which was led by Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) and Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), applauded the Federation of State Medical Boards and the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Taskforce for beginning work on a medical licensing compact.  CSG, through the National Center for Interstate Compacts, is providing technical assistance to the Taskforce. 

Several factors—including changing demographics, the need for better and faster access to medical care in rural and underserved areas, the passage of the Affordable Care Act and the rise of telemedicine—have created unprecedented demand for health care services. One possible solution to this problem is a medical licensing compact intended to reduce existing barriers to the process of gaining licensure in multiple states. Such an agreement has the potential to better facilitate telemedicine and widen access to medical services in underserved areas.

In a press release issued by Senator Enzi’s office, Senator Thune noted: “In South Dakota, telehealth makes it easier for physicians to see patients that may not be able to easily or frequently travel to where the physician practices.  However, without a way to more efficiently license physicians across state lines, telehealth advancement is hindered. The development of this drafting committee and the progress they have already made is an important first step.”  To read the entire press release and the text of the letter please click here

Signers of the letter include: John Thune (R-S.D.), Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), and Mark Warner (D-Va.).

In addition to assisting FSMB with the development of a medical licensing compact, CSG is also consulting with several other state associations that are exploring the feasibility of similar licensing agreements, including the following:

  • National Association of State EMS Officials;
  • The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy; and
  • The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards.

While it is still too early to speculate if a compact is viable for each of the disciplines listed above, the number of groups exploring the use of interstate compacts is a testament to the strength and durability of the instrument.  For more information about any of CSG’s ongoing compact work please contact Crady deGolian at cdegolian@csg.org.