AMA Supports Potential Medical Licensing Compact

In a recent article published in MedEd Update the American Medical Association (AMA) expressed support for a medical licensing compact.  In the article the AMA notes a “longstanding policy in support of increased efficiency and standardization in state licensing regulations.”

The primary purpose of an interstate medical licensure compact would be to streamline the multi-state licensure process for physicians, while simultaneously improving access to health care for patients.  Both the Council of State Governments and the Federation of State Medical Boards have supported the compact through resolutions passed by their respective memberships.  Staff from CSG’s National  for Interstate Compacts have been working closely with FSMB to explore the concept in more detail and develop a work plan moving forward.

Population growth, an aging population and a dramatic rise in the number of insured Americans resulting from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are creating a growing need for more primary care physicians nationwide. Research published by the Annals of Family Medicine estimates the United States will need an additional 52,000 primary care physicians by 2025 to keep up with growing demands on the health care system. Despite those estimates only 6 percent of doctors are licensed in three or more states. A medical licensing compact that emphasizes license portability as a means to promote telehealth and allow doctors to more easily work across state lines could be a significant step in reducing the estimated primary care physician shortages referenced above.