Streamlined licensing process will allow doctors to practice in multiple states

So far, 18 states have enacted laws to allow them to participate in the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact.

There’s an effort underway that will make it easier for doctors to practice medicine in multiple states.

If approved, doctors would no longer have to go through the burdensome process of applying individually for a license in each state where they want to practice, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Division of State Government Affairs.

The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact is now working to establish a process to license doctors to practice in different states, the AAP said.

Numerous medical societies, including AAP, have endorsed the compact. The Federation of State Medical Boards, which represents U.S. medical and osteopathic licensing boards, released model language in July 2014 to help states join the compact and the number has been steadily growing.

As of January, 18 states (Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, Nevada, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Wyoming) have enacted laws to allow them to participate in the compact, according to the report. Five additional states (Arkansas, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota and Washington) have introduced legislation to do so.

Once the process is established, physicians will designate a member of the compact as a state of principal licensure and then select other states where they wish to be licensed. That principal state will use a doctor’s existing license and records to verify eligibility and provide credentialing information, then allowing each state to issue a full license to practice.

The process is particularly important as more physicians use telemedicine and may want to treat patients outside of their home state.