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09 Nov 2016

Practicing medicine across state lines: 5 things to know about the medical license debate

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Should medical licenses become more like drivers’ licenses? There are some who think so, according to a report in The Bulletin.


States currently have different medical licensing standards and it’s a time-consuming process to obtain a medical license in multiple states. Yet with the inter-connectivity growing in the United States, and mobility more prevalent, there are some physicians advocating for more standardized requirements allowing physicians to treat patients across the United States.


Here are five key thoughts on trends in medical licenses:


1. Each state is able to collect its own licensing fees and create individual qualifications, which is a main stumbling block for standardized licenses. States could either standardize or agree to differences with some base qualifications.


2. There are 25 states that currently allow nurses from any other state to practice there as long as they have signed onto the reciprocal licensing compact. A similar process could allow physicians to operate across state lines, especially as telemedicine demand grows.


3. Some physicians are creating a multistate compact that doesn’t go as far as the nurses’ agreement but would provide an expedited application process to achieve a license in other states. Eleven states have signed the compact and more are expected to join next year. Healthcare professionals including physical therapists and occupational therapists are moving in a similar direction.


4. Currently, states have varied discipline for physicians and are worried they won’t be able to discipline physicians from other states or fully investigate those violating the state’s standards.


5. The physicians’ portability model still requires full license in every state and could impede the telemedicine growth in rural areas with physician shortages.

Written by Laura Dyrda | December 14, 2015 | © Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2016.

Reposted by Physician Licensing Service – November 9, 2016. Big ‘thank you’ to ASC Communications for putting together such useful information for physicians.


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