March 31, 2017

Compact Offers New Option for Interstate Licensure

The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC) offers a new, voluntary expedited pathway to licensure for qualified physicians who wish to practice in multiple states.

The compact is not a reciprocity licensure agreement, but rather an arrangement to expedite review and processing of a licensure application. The compact also strengthens public protection by enhancing the ability of states to share investigative and disciplinary information.

Eighteen states have enacted compact legislation, and enabling legislation is pending in another seven states.

In addition to the District of Columbia, the following states are authorized to participate in the interstate compact: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Legislation is under consideration in Michigan, Nebraska, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Washington D.C.

A full medical license is required for every practicing physician in all 50 states, with licensure processes requiring physicians to complete individual applications for each state in which they seek to practice medicine in any form (including telemedicine).

Depending on the complexity of the process, obtaining a medical license can take months in states that do not participate in the IMLC. Under store-and-forward teleradiology arrangements used for imaging studies, the interpreting physician must hold an active medical license in the state where the patient is located.