- The Federation of State Medical Boards has drafted model legislation creating an interstate compact that would "create a new pathway to speed the licensing of doctors seeking to practice medicine in multiple states," said foundation president Dr. Humayun J. Chaudhry. The law would allow for the expansion of telemedicine services.
- Under the compact, physicians would no longer have to apply for licenses on a state-by-state basis (although they would be subject to state-level regulation in each state in which they practice).
- The language of the compact preserves the definition that "the practice of medicine occurs where the patient is located at the time of the physician-patient encounter."
Compacts are legally-binding contracts between states, approved by legislatures and adopted into state law. In this case, the compact would be run by an interstate commission that would maintain regulatory authority over its execution. Physicians who are suspended in one state would automatically be suspended in the others, and any doctor who has faced penalties from a court, medical licensing agency or the DEA would be ineligible.
The proposal comes amidst an industry-wide push to ease regulatory and market barriers to telehealth expansion, supported by the current administration. The president has provided several hundred thousands of dollars in grants to the federation to ease cross-state licensing policies.