Practice Economics

Federation issues revised draft of telemedicine compact



The Federation of State Medical Boards has released an updated draft of a proposed interstate compact that would expand the practice of telemedicine by streamlining physician licensure. The revised text includes new requirements for physicians who wish to participate in an expedited process for gaining multiple state licenses.

Under the draft, interested physicians would need to complete a background check including biometric data (fingerprints or other) and pass all components of either the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination or the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medicine Licensing Examination within three attempts.

Dr. Humayun J. Chaudhry

Additional new draft language alters specialty certification requirements of the compact to clarify that those with time-unlimited certification are eligible to participate in the compact.

"The goal of the compact is to ensure that qualified physicians are able to practice medicine in a safe and accountable manner, and that the strongest health care consumer protections are maintained," Dr. Humayun J. Chaudhry, FSMB president and CEO, said in a statement. "The revised compact helps ensure that as the practice of telemedicine continues to expand, patient protection remains a top priority. We look forward to sharing the revised compact with state medical boards across the country and look forward to working with them to achieve implementation."

The FSMB House of Delegates unanimously approved the development of an interstate compact to expedite medical licensure and facilitate multistate practice at its 2013 annual meeting. Under the proposed system, states and doctors would voluntarily enter into the compact, and approved physicians would be under the jurisdiction of the state medical board in which the patient is located at the time of the medical interaction. State boards of medicine would retain their individual authority for discipline and oversight, according to the proposed compact.

The interstate compact system is expected to significantly reduce barriers to the process of gaining licensure in multiple states, while helping to facilitate licensure portability and telemedicine. The state boards of medicine intend to present the final compact draft to state legislators for their consideration in 2015 legislative sessions.

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