Idaho and Utah are the latest states to join the Federation of State Medical Boards' interstate compact for streamlining physician licensing. Three more states need to sign on for the system, aimed at removing barriers to telemedicine growth, to go into effect.
Idaho Gov. Butch Otter signed on for the plan March 25, authorizing the state to join the compact, following Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, who approved a similar measure on March 20. South Dakota and Wyoming previously joined the compact, designed to streamline the process for doctors to obtain licenses in multiple states.
The states are using versions of model legislation drafted by the federation. The process would help facilitate the practice of telemedicine because states in the compact would follow its policy that the practice of medicine occurs where the patient is located, not where the doctor is based.
The compact will help reduce redundant licensing requirements by creating one place where physicians submit basic information such as their education credentials, said Tom Lacock, spokesman for the Wyoming Medical Society.
Bills authorizing state medical boards to enter into the compact have been passed in Montana and West Virginia, where they are awaiting their governors' signatures. At least 11 other states have similar legislation pending.