The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), a national non-profit representing the 70 medical and osteopathic boards of the U.S. and territories, issued a long-awaited statement on 9/5/14 upon completion of the drafting process for model legislation to create an Interstate Medical Licensure Compact that would speed the process of issuing licenses for physicians who wish to practice in multiple states.
According to the press release, the interstate medical licensure compact model legislation “creates a new process for faster licensing for physicians interested in practicing in multiple states and establishes the location of a patient as the jurisdiction for oversight and patient protections.”
The implications for delivery of telehealth are profound. As the healthcare landscape becomes broader with both expanded services available due to Internet technology and a diverse integrative practitioner population, the establishment of the location of the patient as the jurisdiction for oversight and protection is of paramount importance. In this way, the provider can reside in his/her state and consult with people in multiple states.
The compact is voluntary on a state by state basis and for physicians’ participation as well.
Those practices whose specialties are geared toward health promotion, prevention of disease, lifestyle management, mindfulness and stress reduction stand to benefit greatly from the increased exposure that telehealthcare offers. These practices identified in Sec. 5101 of the Affordable Care Act as “integrative healthcare practitioners” are the national healthcare workforce that can now collaborate with their licensed colleagues across state lines in real-time therapeutic partnering. The impact on chronic disease management and the resultant cost savings along with better quality of life are anticipated outcomes.