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06 Dec 2016

Common Medical Licensing Misconceptions- First Edition

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  1. Getting the application to the medical board is the most important part of starting my license…

 

Humans are linear thinkers- we like timelines and rational processes and we really like our numbers to run in sequence: 1, 2, 3, 4, etc.; so we get easily frustrated and panicky when is seems like a process is not moving along in line with our perceived expectations.

 

When licensing on one’s own, the logical first step is to fill out an application, send it to the medical board and then compile a list of verifications to request to be sent to the medical board. This process is fine, if your licensing needs meet the following requirements-

 

 

  1. You want to do all of the footwork yourself.
  2. You don’t have a specific timeframe or deadline for licensure.
  3. You don’t mind re-doing the work if the verifying entity does not respond in a timely manner or responds with the incorrect information.

 

If you have a deadline for licensure (such as a starting date in a new job) and/or  you don’t have the time or money to spend on re-doing verifications, then you should look into allowing a reputable licensing agency assist you in the process.

 

 

A word of fair warning-  any reputable licensing firm is not going to operate in a linear fashion when processing your licensing request for any number of reasons- preventing a client from incurring unnecessary duplicate expenses, eliminating errors and/or redundancy, ensuring that only a complete file is submitted to an analyst for review, etc.  You must trust your agency’s process and re-evaluate your linear thinking when expediting your license though an agency. If you don’t understand why, then ask first, before you panic.

 

Each medical board has their own internal process for initial file reviews and an experienced licensing agency is going to leverage their industry knowledge to ensure a timely review of a complete and accurate file.  A reputable licensing firm ensures that all parties involved in licensing an applicant are treated with respect.  Accuracy, dependability and reputation are keys to successful and timely review of your file and, ultimately, a speedy issuance of your medical license.

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2. Already Licensed in Another State- Do I Qualify for Reciprocity?

 

Reciprocity is a thing of the past.  Reciprocity of a state medical license used to be a very common practice. Most states entered into an unofficial compact with the basic understanding that the previous medical board was diligent in accurately verifying all of the educational information of the applicant in questions, and was, in essence, ‘vouching’ for the applicant’s credibility.

 

In the early days of physician licensing, it was quite easy for physicians to move around the country practicing medicine. Unfortunately, it also made it quite easy for unqualified practitioners to follow suit.

 

 

In the 1990’s a number of board members from one U.S. medical jurisdiction were indicted on fraud charges after an investigation by the FSMB and FBI concluded that they were ‘selling’ medical licenses in their jurisdiction which allowed unqualified practitioners to apply for reciprocal  licenses in other states where they would not otherwise qualify.

 

 

Additionally, as America grew, regional demographics dictated the need for some medical boards to implement additional training or certification requirements to ensure that their practitioners met the needs of the local populations.

 

 

Obvious examples are ‘Snowbird” states, which see a massive influx of doctors during the winter months, and suffer a critical dearth of adequate medical coverage during the dog days of summer.  Not to mention that many of the winter practitioners are often transitioning into retirement and are not providing the hours of coverage needed by the local population or are increasingly interested in sub-specialties such as Geriatrics or boutique practices as their own desires to slow down and practice less increase- thus broadening the area shortages in Pediatrics or Primary Care.

 

 

In order to meet the growing and changing needs of local populations, state medical boards have felt increased pressure from political lobbyists seeking to ensure that the local populace is adequately represented by “qualified’ applicants. Watchdog groups and increasingly frivolous malpractice claims have added to the loss of reciprocity and increased scrutiny of each state’s application and verification process, as each medical board seeks to protect itself from legal action and its constituents from inadequate healthcare.

 

 

 

Currently about 150,000 physicians seek new or additional state medical licenses each year. When the amplified practice demands on physicians and staff are combined with the increased qualification and verification requirements of each state medical board, licensing timeframes can increase exponentially.

 

 

Today’s licensing applicants must research their options thoroughly before giving notice, selling their practice or relocating their families to a new state or jurisdiction. New employers, state licensing boards and credentialing coordinators are unsympathetic to an applicant who did not conduct adequate research prior to pulling the trigger on a significant lifestyle change.

 

 

Please contact Physician Licensing Service for more information about state medical licensing timeframes and individual requirements before giving notice or accepting a new employment position.

 

 

28 Nov 2016

FCVS: What You Need To Know

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Federation Credentials Verification Service (FCVS)

We run into questions regarding FCVS on a daily basis. What do they do? What don’t they do?  Here are some of the basics: Read more

18 Nov 2016

Doctors Work on ‘Webside Manner’ As Telemedicine Becomes More Popular

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Get ready to text your doctor.

Fortune Brainstorm Health Wednesday, November 2, 2016 San Diego, CA 12:40 PM CONCURRENT LUNCHES: SOLUTION SESSIONS HELP FROM AFAR: THE POWER OF REMOTE HEALTHCARE Intervention Track Hosted By: Insigniam Mobile technology is enabling doctors and patients to meet anytime and anywhere. Thanks to advances in telemedicine, physicians—even psychiatrists—can now monitor patients and do the kind of detailed patient workups and counseling that had once been possible only in an in-person visit. In theory, it’s easier for patients, it’s cheaper for healthcare systems, and the results (in early testing) seem just as good. So what’s stopping us from making remote healthcare the norm, especially for those with chronic diseases who need frequent monitoring? And how can other Uber-like platforms (doctors on demand) improve cost, efficiency, and the quality of care as well? Firestarters: Hill Ferguson, Chief Executive Officer, Doctor On Demand Suneel Gupta, Head of Mobile, One Medical Ron Gutman, Founder and CEO, HealthTap Dr. Vivian S. Lee, Dean, School of Medicine; Senior Vice President, Health Sciences; CEO, University of Utah Health Care, University of Utah Rick Valencia, President, Qualcomm Life, Qualcomm Inc. Moderator: Leena Rao, Fortune Photograph by Stuart Isett for Fortune Brainstorm Health

 

 

by Erika Fry@ErikaFry – NOVEMBER 2, 2016, 7:41 PM EST

 

Reposted by Physician Licensing Service admin – 11/17/2016

 

 

Why go to the doctor, when you can just Skype or text her? That may sound glib, but these days, it’s a serious question. And in a field where many trends—skyrocketing drug prices and healthcare costs—tend to defy logic, the rise of telemedicine is one that makes a lot of sense, said Vivian Lee, CEO of University of Utah Health Care, speaking on a panel about virtual health at Fortune’s Brainstorm Health conference in San Diego on Wednesday.

 

Indeed, the service wins rave reviews from patients and providers. Practitioners of telemedicine say virtual appointments greatly enhance access to care and engagement with patients, both of which tend to benefit health outcomes. Suneel Gupta, head of mobile, for One Medical, said patients engage with his company’s virtual health platform 25 to 30 times a week. While there’s a convenience factor, there are also safety implications. Telemedicine keeps the sickest patients at home, and out of the hospital, where there is greater risk of infection.

 

Especially, as the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services makes its push to value-based, rather than fee-based care, it’s likely that telemedicine, which saves costs and improves outcomes, has a role to play, said Lee.

 

That’s not to say there aren’t a few wrinkles to work out. Not all doctors are naturals at virtual care. They often have to work on their “webside manner,” said Hill Ferguson, CEO of Doctor on Demand, a telemedicine company that serves corporations and large employers. (Ron Gutman, CEO and Founder of HealthTap, another virtual health start-up, says his company’s users actually prefer texting to video care.)

 

And regulation hasn’t yet caught up with the telemedicine trend. Doctors must be licensed in both the state in which they’re giving care, as well as the state in which that care is being received. For health systems that have hospitals in many states, that’s an especially tedious challenge.

 

Oh, and one other thing: in many cases, telemedicine sessions are not reimbursed. That makes it an even more difficult for health providers to decide whether to build out virtual health infrastructure.

 

For Lee, it’s a no brainer: it’s worth it. It’s a way to keep up with demand for care—virtual appointments save time—and to provide greater access to services, particularly for patients that may be hundreds of miles away from the closest hospital. She says the platform is also just as useful to connect doctors and nurses with other healthcare professionals, who can offer a second opinion or medical guidance.

 

Telemedicine has also been embraced by Carolinas HealthCare System. The investment in telemedicine will save the company from building many new hospital beds, and make better use of the ones it has, said Guy Glorioso, director of virtual care at the organization. Such a platform saves the system in the longrun, he says, driving down hospital readmissions, the cost of ambulance services, and other expenses.

16 Nov 2016

What telemedicine, Blockbuster and Netflix have in common

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We saw it with video, we saw it with banking, and now we’re seeing it with digital health.

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Originally posted By Jeff Oldham – November 14, 2016

Reposted by Physician Licensing Service – November 16, 2016

Having all of your information available on one digital platform is the new norm, and it’s no wonder healthcare is moving in the same direction. Now that Americans are transitioning from co-payments to bigger deductibles due to the rise of high-deductible health plans (HDHPs), digital health is peaking interest when it comes to cutting costs. Employers are helping their employees manage these high deductibles by offering telemedicine benefits, and I predict it’ll be the next Blockbuster to Netflix movement.

According to Benefitfocus’ 2016 State of Employee Benefits report, 52% of large employers now offer at least one high-deductible health plan, and 41% of employees select an HDHP over a traditional plan when given the option. In an age where healthcare costs are skyrocketing, high-deductible health plans offer immediate costs savings, especially when coupled with a Health Savings Account (HSA). This option is especially attractive for generally healthy individuals who tend to spend less on healthcare, but still pay a high premium for more traditional plans. But with a higher deductible comes a caveat—people must pay out of pocket until it’s covered, which makes them take a closer look at how much doctor’s visits actually cost.

Enter telemedicine. A typical charge for a telemedicine visit is $40, compared to $125 for an office visit, and the best part is, it’s covered tax-free under an HSA. This is a substantial savings for people who haven’t yet met their deductible when they need a regular checkup or an emergency that doesn’t require an in-office visit. A recent survey from Mercer found 59% of large U.S. firms now cover a telemedicine program compared to just 30% in 2015. The usage numbers are only predicted to grow, and now that more insurers are embracing digital health services, we’re bound to see even more companies adopt telemedicine offerings.

Most fascinating about telemedicine is most people automatically assume it’s a millennial benefit, but the fact is, it’s incredibly useful for every generation. I’ve seen telemedicine act as a Medicare supplement for seniors who do not wish or are unable to leave their homes. Telehealth advocates and providers see senior telemedicine use as the next major market, especially for the 1 in 5 people older than 65 who live outside of a metropolitan area away from doctor’s offices. It’s opening a whole new door in healthcare where they can take wellness measures from the comfort of their own space.

The benefits of telemedicine go beyond cash-saving perks. By offering a telemedicine option, employers are sending the message that they care about workplace wellbeing. On the back of the recent “unsick day” trend, where employers give employees the day off to take preventative healthcare measures, it’s clear employers are realizing employees undergo a significant amount of stress when missing work. Since telemedicine is virtual, it’s more flexible—many providers even offer 24-hour access. It gives people the opportunity to check up on their health without the added time it takes to get to and from the doctor’s office, lessening the stress of using a sick day.

With telemedicine a generally new trend, how can employers convince employees to opt-in? To get employees to take advantage of this benefit, employers who offer telemedicine should consider educational tactics to communicate the availability and perks of using it, including video or health care transparency tools to show the potential savings. Think of it this way. Benefits are a language that most people don’t speak, and if they do, it’s only once a year for a few weeks during open enrollment. By offering year-round educational tools, employees are always in the know and can even bring home the “how-to” of telemedicine to their spouse or family members. This will encourage higher utilization and give people the full scope of what they can do with digital health.

Today, people expect more than just traditional healthcare, and furthermore, they expect it to be affordable. With telemedicine, employers can give their employees financial relief in the new HDHP landscape so they can worry less about hefty bills and more about taking care of themselves. Telemedicine exists in the same vein as Netflix and ATM banking.

Remember when we all went to Blockbuster to rent a video? Now we download entertainment digitally from Netflix. The analogy also holds true for the shift to more use of telehealth.

People are looking for a cost-effective, easily accessible platform to meet all their needs. Even though telemedicine is revered in its simplicity, it’s an incredibly comprehensive health care perk that’s likely to grow as more people uncover its benefits.

Jeff Oldham, is vice president of consumer strategy for Benefitfocus. He has worked in the benefits industry for 19 years, focusing on technology, medical and ancillary benefits management, along with wellness and disease management. He has been at Benefitfocus for over six years and leads the Benefitstore voluntary benefit consulting team.

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.

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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.

 

04 Nov 2016

International Medical Graduates Must Know This Information

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Medical Licensing Experts have put together a quick guide of minimum requirements for International Medical Graduates.

Physician Licensing Service Doctor & Boy

 

While each medical board has a measure of independence and control over specific licensing requirements, there is a minimum satisfactory guideline that must be met for all international graduates. I have outlined the guidelines below:

 

1.)    You must have an MD equivalency degree, such as an MBBS to apply for examinations and residency in the US. A good way to determine if your school is recognized by most medical boards is to use either the California Approved Medical School list or the Texas Approved Medical School list. California is the ruler by which most medical board measure equivalency, but some states use the Texas guidelines.

If your school is not on either list, there may be other options available to you,  based on your background and other requirements, but you will need to seek the specialized knowledge of a licensing firm.

 

2.)    If your school is on the lists, you then need to apply through the ECFMG (Educational Council for Foreign Medical Graduates) to pass all three steps of the USMLE (US Medical Licensing Examination) test and receive your ECFMG certification.
 

3.)    You must also successfully complete at least two years of post-graduate training (some states require three and Georgia only requires one year of training if you meet all of the other requirements) in an ACGME (Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education) recognized program.  You can complete part three of your USMLE exams while you attend residency. You will need to apply for residency through the NRMP (National Residency Match Program). You must be ECFMG certified and complete USMLE Step  and Step 2 CK and CS prior to registering for the residency match.

 

4.)    Please note that you probably qualify for a fellowship program in the US if you have already completed your post graduate training in another country, however most fellowship programs are not  ACGME accredited, and will not satisfy the necessary requirements to license in all states.

Please inquire directly to the program in question to determine if  your fellowship is ACGME accredited before assuming that you will be able to acquire a license in the United States after training. The fellowship coordinator with know whether his/her program meets the ACGME requirements.

 

5.)    Some states will also require board certification in addition to all of the steps listed above, and a few will also require some form of additional testing (such as a juris prudence or statutes & limitations exam) before your license is issued.

 

The steps toward becoming a licensed physician in the US can be lengthy and even overwhelming, but once you are licensed to work in the state of your choice, opportunities abound and remunerations are robust for hard-working, ethical practitioners.

26 Oct 2016

Reading, Pennsylvania Hospital to Debut $354M Expanded ER, Trauma Center

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Reading Hospital, which has the busiest emergency department in Pennsylvania, will open its expanded $354 million emergency room and trauma center.The new Reading HealthPlex for Advanced Surgical & Patient Care opens Monday./Contributed photo

The new Reading HealthPlex for Advanced Surgical & Patient Care opens Monday./Contributed photo

 

Original By Wendy Solomon, October 14, 2016 at 10:38 AM

 

Reposted by Physician Licensing Service

 

 

The new Reading HealthPlex for Advanced Surgical & Patient Care is a five-story, 476,000-square-foot building adjacent to the hospital in West Reading. The hospital treats 134,000 patients a year in its ER, far more than the 92,000 it was built to handle more than 40 years ago.

 

 

“We have been bursting at the seams on a number of occasions,” said Clint Matthews, president and CEO of Reading Health System.

 

 

The community is invited to tour the Reading HealthPlex from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and stay for refreshments, entertainment and participate in free health and safety activities.

 

The new ER will have 16 emergency rooms and five trauma bays that can expand to nine if necessary.

 

“By expanding with these additional 16 beds, that will help us relieve that pressure,” Matthews said.

 

Despite the overload, Reading Hospital has been able to make a 25 percent improvement in the time it takes for a patient to be admitted in the ER to 90 minutes, Matthews said.

 

Matthews said the hospital’s status is expected to be upgraded from a level 2 trauma center to a level 1 because of the expansion and improvements.

 

The new Reading HealthPlex for Advanced Surgical & Patient Care features:

 

  • 24 larger perioperative and operating rooms.

 

  • Five trauma bays that can expand to nine.

 

  • Eight procedure rooms and a hybrid room that contains imaging equipment for open and noninvasive procedures that can be used simultaneously on the same patient.

 

  • 150 private patient rooms, which will open in January.

 

  • An 88,000-square-foot rooftop healing garden, the largest of its kind in Pennsylvania and the third largest on a health care building in the U.S.

 

  • Telemedicine-enabled operating rooms that enable physicians in other locations to see and talk to surgeons in the operating room via cameras embedded in lights and microphones.
  • Three da Vinci robots for surgery.

 

The HealthPlex greatly expands and modernizes the hospital’s operating suites, which were 350 square feet when built in the late 1960s. The smallest of the 24 new operating rooms is 650 square feet.

 

“Previously the ORs were designed for a surgeon to use a scalpel, scissors and retractor,” Matthews said.

 

“Now they have laparoscope equipment, imaging equipment, da Vinci robots, anesthesia equipment and all sorts of pieces of equipment that come into the room. The room becomes very, very crowded with equipment and providers.”

 

The HealthPlex’s design and layout is much more efficient, which also helps improve the room turnover time, he said.

 

“We have progressed to the point where we do not only a lot of robotic and laparoscopic surgery and more acute types of cases with very high technological capabilities. Now we have a setting that is comparable to the latest and the greatest any of the world’s renowned hospitals,” Matthews said

 

The three-year construction project is largely finished, with the total cost expected to come in under the projected $354 million, Matthews said.

 

21 Oct 2016

CHOP exploring telemedicine deal for Native Americans

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18 Oct 2016

State Med Boards Slammed After New Year – Experts Recommend Applying Now

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The contract rush is real around the turn of every new calendar year for physicians looking to relocate or extend their telemed reach into new markets. 

20-year-anniversary-v2Because of the high demand for physicians in the United States, many experts in the medical licensing field have suggested that doctors get ahead of the new year’s rush by applying now for needed medical licenses. Medical boards prioritize licensure by the order of submission and getting in early before the January 1 rush ensures you will be licensed first.

Physician Licensing Service has spent the last 20 years mastering each state medical board in United States. The expertise gained in our 20 years of serving physicians have made us a valuable asset to 1,000’s of medical practices in North America.

Take advantage of our Preferred Pricing Structure for practicing physicians by emailing Tony Hendricks at th@physicianlicensing.com or by calling at 801-449-9196.

 

You can also order new medical licensing services through a secure, 128bit encrypted, website by going to HERE.

17 Oct 2016

PLS Celebrates 20 years of Licensing Physicians

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PHYSICIAN LICENSING SERVICE is the oldest and most established medical licensing service in North America now in it’s 20th year of serving physicians

Posted 10/17/2016 by Admin

We are pleased to announce a milestone in the medical licensing service industry with Physician Licensing Service in it’s 20th year of licensing physicians in North America. This is an unprecedented achievement as no other licensing service has matched Physician Licensing’s accomplishments and tenure in the industry. We are grateful to the individual doctors and medical groups that have utilized our service over the years and given us an opportunity to serve them to the best of our ability. Thank you PLS staff and customers alike as we celebrate this huge victory and look forward to serving you for the next 20 years to come!

Please contact us for promotional pricing celebrating our 20 years of service by calling or emailing our Business Development Director, Tony Hendricks at th@physicanlicensing.com or 801-449-9196. Ask about our License Track system for renewals and our Corporate Preferred pricing structure for all medical groups, hospitals and medical staffing services.

 

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