As previously reported by the team from ML Strategies, one of the many telehealth developments to watch this year has been the Federation of State Medical Board’s (FSMB) Interstate Licensure Compact. On September 5, the FSBM released its Interstate Licensure Compact model legislation (the “Compact”). Under the Compact, a physician who is licensed in his or her home state and meets educational, certification, and disciplinary criteria would be eligible to apply to receive an expedited medical license in another state that has adopted the Compact.
For many physicians engaged in interstate practice, particularly through telemedicine, the Compact would ease requirements for practicing across state lines. However, the Compact would still require full medical licensure in each state in which the physician practices. Some telemedicine proponents have, instead, argued for an interstate compact that would permit physicians using telemedicine to practice based on their home state licenses alone. Additionally, the Compact, as drafted by the FSMB, would not alter states’ so-called consultation exceptions to medical licensure, whereby certain states permit out-of-state physicians who are merely consulting with in-state physicians to practice without obtaining an in-state license.
State boards of medicine are not required to adopt the Compact, but physician and health care providers interested in telemedicine and interstate practice should monitor the states that do adopt it.