Ask your state legislature to oppose the FSMB Interstate Medical Licensing Compact

On September 14, 2014, the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) released its final version of the Interstate Medical Licensing Compact. Even though this 24-page document and the FSMB’s website promote the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, the document claims “it does not necessarily reflect the views of the Federation of State Medical Boards, the Board of Directors of the Federation of State Medical Boards, or any state medical board or its members.”

The stated purpose of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact is to “strengthen access to health care and provide for a streamlined process that allows physicians to become licensed in multiple states.” This supposedly provides for expedited issuance of medical licenses. While the FSMB might be able to expedite the issuance of medical licenses, states could easily do this without being encumbered by yet another layer of bureaucracy. Furthermore, this Compact will not strengthen access to health care, as it will provide for numerous additional hurdles.

This Interstate Medical Licensure Compact calls for establishing an Interstate Commission whose governance will be composed of representatives from each member state. Fees will be charged for those licensed through this Compact. Furthermore, individual member states will be called upon to fund it via fees and other obligations. This is particularly evident in the event that an individual state might seek to withdraw from participation. This document clearly specifies that “the withdrawing state is responsible for all dues, obligations and liabilities incurred through the effective date of withdrawal, including obligations, the performance of which extend beyond the effective date of withdrawal.”

According to the FSMB, this Compact “creates another pathway for licensure and does not otherwise change a state’s existing Medical Practice Act.” However, this Compact clearly calls for issuing medical licenses which are a clear departure from current state’s Medical Practice Acts. For instance, the Compact defines a physician as one who “holds specialty certification or a time-unlimited specialty certificate recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties or the American Osteopathic Association’s Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists.” No state currently defines a physician in this manner. Such a definition of “physician” will limit access to health care, not strengthen it.

While the lifelong specialty medical board re-certification requirements are creating huge burdens for all physicians, current efforts by the American Osteopathic Association are mandating membership as a condition for maintenance of certification! Since when did membership in a trade organization become a necessity in order to prove capability?

The current President and CEO of the Federation of State Medical Boards is Humayun Chaudhry, D.O.

He is himself currently not participating in his own specialty Maintenance of Certification. It is not clear whether he is exempting himself from onerous requirements he seeks to impose on all his fellow physicians, or whether he knows he cannot pass these hurdles. What is clear, however, is that under this Interstate Medical Compact’s requirements, he would not be eligible to be issued a medical license.

In order to create the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, at least 7 state legislatures would need to vote in favor of it. Some mistakenly believe that this Compact is necessary to allow for telemedicine, but there are clearly better and less expensive ways for this to be accomplished. As a matter of fact, it is unclear whether or not this Compact will be of any help to telemedicine.

Summary

This resolution calls for all states to avoid any involvement with the Federation of State Medical Board’s Interstate Medical Licensure Compact.

Resolution

WHEREAS, the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact will supersede a state’s autonomy and control over the practice of medicine,

WHEREAS, the Interstate Commission will likely cause changes to the state Medical Practice Act,

WHEREAS, there will be a significant cost to each participating state in joining such an Interstate Medical Licensure Compact,

WHEREAS, it will be difficult and expensive for a state to extricate itself from the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact,

WHEREAS, the cost of obtaining medical licenses will be dramatically increased, and states must protect its citizens from regulatory excesses,

WHEREAS, the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact’s definition of a physician is at variance with all other State Medical Boards,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the {insert name of state legislature} is opposed to any participation with the Federation of Medical State Licensure’s Interstate Medical Licensure Compact.

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3 thoughts on “Ask your state legislature to oppose the FSMB Interstate Medical Licensing Compact

  1. Pingback: A win for physicians in battle against FSMB | IP4PI – Independent Physicians for Patient independence

  2. Pingback: Action Alert: Help STOP FSMB Compact | AAPS | Missouri State Chapter

  3. Pingback: What’s the status of the Interstate Medical License Compact? - C3O Telemedicine

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