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Practicing Telemedicine Across State Borders: New Expedited Licenses Permit Physicians to Expand Practice
In a watershed moment for the expansion of telemedicine, the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Commission is now processing applications to allow physicians to practice telemedicine across state lines with greater ease. Nineteen states have passed legislation to adopt the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, which allows physicians to obtain a license to practice medicine in any Compact state through a simplified application process. Under the new system, participating state medical boards retain their licensing and disciplinary authority, but agree to share information essential to licensing, creating a streamlined process.
In July, Indiana scored a major win on the telemedicine legislative front. A new telemedicine state statute went into effect which expands the use of telemedicine together with certain prescribing rights (without an in-person office visit).
As of March 25, 2016, there have been 133 telehealth related bills introduced in 30 states across the nation. The most common legislation addresses reimbursement, telehealth professional standards, the need for in-person examinations, prescribing, and cross-state licensing.