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Lawmaker pushes for state to join Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

The way health care services are delivered is constantly changing as technology opens up new avenues for improving access and quality. One of the changes which has occurred in recent years is telemedicine, or health care services offered at a distance. States have different ways of regulating telemedicine services, with some opening the doors to the model and others taking a more limiting stance.

At present, physicians are not allowed practice telemedicine across state lines without being licensed in Pennsylvania. For proponents of telemedicine expansion, this is a significant limitation. At least one Pennsylvania lawmaker wants to change the situation, though, by passing legislation that would provide physicians an expedited process for interstate licensing. The legislation, introduced by Rep. Jesse Topper, would get Pennsylvania on board with the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact. 

Under the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, states make it easier for physicians to become licensed across state lines for the practice of telemedicine. To be eligible to seek licensure under the compact, a physician must meet various requirements, including having no history of discipline on any state medical license and having no discipline related to controlled substances.

Disciplinary action on a physician licensed under the compact is not handled by a special board, but by the states which issue a license under the compact. States that have signed onto the compact are able to impose the same or lesser sanctions on a physician as the physician’s home state or to pursue disciplinary action based on its own Medical Practice Act.

Physicians who face potential disciplinary action as a result of their work in telemedicine should always work with an experienced attorney to ensure their due process rights are protected and that they have the best possible chance of quickly resolving their case.

Source: www.licenseportability.org, Frequently Asked Questions about the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact,” Accessed July 29, 2016. 

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