Telehealth-Friendly Licensing Compacts Gain Momentum

Five more states have signed up to ease licensing processes for doctors hoping to practice telemedicine across state lines. Recently, Colorado became the 17th state to join the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, with Gov. John Hickenlooper signing legislation on June 8. Overseen by the Federation of State Medical Boards, offers an expedited licensing process for physicians seeking to practice in multiple states, while continuing to following each state’s medical board standards.

“It is encouraging to see Colorado join the compact, along with a growing number of states, as this will improve and increase healthcare access in the Rocky Mountain region and beyond, while still ensuring that we protect patient safety and quality,” Joan Bothner, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Children’s Hospital Colorado, said in a press release.

17 states have joined the compact for physicians, while 8 states have joined a similar effort for nurses. An additional nine states have introduced legislation to join the compact in the near future.

A similar effort for nurses – the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact, developed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing – currently has eight members: Oklahoma, Florida, Idaho, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Wyoming and Arizona. This updated compact allows nurses to practice in their home state and other states aligned to the NLC. The enhanced NLC will become official once 26 states have signed on to the compact or by Dec. 31, 2018, whichever comes first.

For more information on the new compacts click here.

For more information on the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact click here.

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