On June 8, 2016 an act ratifying the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact was signed into law by Governor Hickenlooper. Colorado became the seventeenth state to enter the Compact. The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Commission, which administers the initiative, set a target goal of January 2017 for qualified physicians to seek licensure in multiple states via the Compact’s expedited licensure process. The Compact is undergoing rule making and the Colorado Medical Board hopes to be able to implement the new law by the Compact Commission’s target date.
The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact offers a new, voluntary, expedited pathway to licensure for qualified physicians who wish to practice in multiple states. To be eligible for expedited licensure, physicians must:
- Possess a full and unrestricted license in a Compact State;
- Possess specialty certification or be in possession of a time unlimited specialty certificate;
- Have no discipline on any state medical license;
- Have no discipline related to controlled substances;
- Not be under investigation by any licensing or law enforcement agency;
- Have passed the USMLE or COMLEX (or equivalent) within 3 attempts; and
- Have successfully completed a graduate medical education (GME) program.
While making it easier for physicians to obtain licenses to practice in multiple states, the Compact strengthens public protection by enhancing the ability of states to share investigative and disciplinary information. The Compact is being implemented in a growing number of states, with others expected to adopt it in the next several years.
The Compact will impact the practice of medicine by Colorado licensed physicians in the following ways:
- Affirms that the practice of medicine occurs where the patient is located at the time of the physician-patient encounter, and requires that the physician be under the jurisdiction of the state medical board where the patient is located.
- Increases access to health care for patients in underserved or rural areas by allowing them to more easily connect with medical experts through the use of telemedicine technologies.
- Provides a streamlined process that allows physicians to become licensed in multiple states, thereby enhancing the portability of a medical license.
- Creates a different process for licensure that does not change a state’s existing medical practice act.
- State medical boards that participate in the compact retain the jurisdiction to impose an adverse action against a license to practice medicine in that state issued to a physician through the procedures in the compact.
For more information on the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, visit http://www.licenseportability.org/ and https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dora/Interstate_Medical_Licensure_Compact or contact an attorney at Kresl & Johnson.