Physician Practice Roundup—Streamlined licensing process now available to doctors in two more states

Streamlined licensing process now available to doctors in two more states

Add two more states to the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact. Doctors in Kentucky and North Dakota can now take advantage of the compact’s streamlined licensing process if they want to practice in other states.

The two states are the latest to join the compact, which is now active in half of the U.S. states, according to an announcement from the Federation of State Medical Boards. There are now 29 states and territories that are members of the compact, which offers an expedited pathway to licensure for physicians who want to practice in multiple states. As of last month, the compact commission issued 5,450 medical licenses with many doctors using the process to practice in other states via telemedicine.

Kentucky and North Dakota recently enacted legislation to join, making them the 26th and 27th states to join. (Federation of State Medical Boards announcement)

Open payments database reduces patient trust in physicians

An unintended consequence of the nationwide disclosure of industry payments to physicians may be an erosion of patient trust in doctors.

Public disclosure via the database of payments to doctors by pharmaceutical and medical device companies, implemented under the Sunshine Act, was associated with lower public trust in doctors whether patients knew their own physicians had received any payments, according to a study published in JAMA Network.

The study was based on a survey of 1,388 U.S. adults and found people had lower trust in their own physicians and in the medical profession overall. (JAMA Network study)

Report: U.S. economic burden of chronic diseases tops $3.8 trillion—and expected to double

The U.S. economic burden of chronic diseases such as Alzheimer's, diabetes, heart disease, obesity and cancer has reached about $3.8 trillion in direct and indirect costs—or nearly one-fifth of GDP, according to a new report from Fitch Solutions, which is a unit of Fitch Group.

And as the baby boomer population ages alongside a concurrent increase in the prevalence of noncommunicable diseases, that figure is expected to double within the next 30 years, Fitch reports.

"This considerable financial burden is ultimately borne by society as a whole, but the individuals affected by these chronic diseases will be disproportionately impacted," the report said.

According to the report, aggregate annual costs of the leading chronic medical conditions are approximately $1.1 trillion due to expenses from hospital care, physician visits, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and home care. (FierceHealthcare)