One of the largest hurdles to the growth of telemedicine – streamlined physician licensure in multiple states – soon may be addressed.  The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) will vote on adopting the federation’s Interstate Medical Licensure Compact at its annual meeting in April.  The FSMB is a national non-profit organization representing all medical boards within the United States.  The telemedicine policy is a newly proposed licensing option under which qualified physicians seeking to practice in multiple states would be eligible for expedited licensure in all states participating in the Compact.

The FSMB has modeled the Compact based upon the existing process of licensure by endorsement.  The FSMB believes such a model will be advantageous to state medical boards as the recommendations will “require little, if any, statutory amendment” and “not require contracts or other formal agreements between jurisdictions.”  The FSMB has emphasized that much of the regulatory power will still remain at the state level.   The Compact could help to alleviate onerous state licensure requirements as physicians wishing to practice medicine lawfully must obtain a license in each state where their patients are located.

Obtaining regulatory relief from burdensome licensing requirements is a chief priority among our telemedicine clients.  This industry is booming and many experts believe telemedicine is going to play an ever-increasing role in the healthcare system.  In addition to the Compact, 35 states have telemedicine bills pending.