Doctors are taking advantage of licensure compact to practice in other states via telemedicine

Doctors are taking advantage of a compact to get licensed to practice in other states via telemedicine.

Since its launch more than a year and a half ago, 3,426 doctors have been issued medical licenses by state medical boards through the streamlined process provided by the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, according to an announcement.

The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Commission (IMLCC), which oversees the process, said it continues to see an increase in the number of qualified physicians applying to obtain multiple licenses in different states through its expedited pathway to licensure.

“Reducing barriers to practicing in multiple states is allowing qualified physicians to reach more patients and improve access to care,” said Humayun Chaudhry, D.O., president and CEO of the Federation of State Medical Boards.

The compact was created as a way to advance care across state lines and will allow more telemedicine services. Advocates have said it will help ease physician shortages.

Approximately 80% of U.S. physicians meet the criteria for licensure through the compact, the commission said. So far, 24 states, Guam and the District of Columbia have enacted legislation to join the licensure compact. Legislation remains under consideration in Michigan.

Qualified doctors who want to obtain multiple licenses from participating states can submit their application to the IMLCC. The process has resulted in 3,426 medical licenses being issued by member state medical boards since the compact was launched in April 2017. At the time 18 states participated. The IMLCC has processed 1,867 applications and 497 licenses have been renewed through the compact during the same time period.

States currently included in the compact are: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

RELATED: Enhanced nurse licensure compact makes it easier for nurses to practice in other states via telehealth

Nurses who want to practice in multiple states have a similar process. A new Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact, which will also make it easier for nurses to practice in other states and via telemedicine, was implemented in January.