Legislation that would enroll Minnesota in the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact passed the Senate Floor this week. Implementation would allow an alternative process for licensure whereby a physician treating a patient in another state will be subject to the regulations and under the jurisdiction of the visiting state’s medical board. The compact will enable physicians to practice across state lines – physically or via telecommunication – while still being subject to the state’s licensure standards, ensuring the safety of patients.
Because the process by which a physician obtains a medical license is particularly arduous, the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), the Council of State Governments (CSG) and representatives from state medical boards worked together over the past two years to develop a new licensing option. The new option, available to states within the Interstate Medical Compact, would permit a qualified physician to practice in multiple participating states with an expedited license.
Currently, six other states have enacted the compact, and ten additional states are considering adopting the compact. Medical practice boards in participating states do not surrender any authority to regulate the physicians they license, but must share complaints and investigations with other compact states.
Physicians participating in the compact must meet the highest standards for licensure across all states, and a license can be revoked by any or all of the compact states. It is estimated that up to 80% of licensed physicians in the U.S. are eligible to participate in the compact based on the statute’s definition of a physician. (S.F. 253)