The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) has launched FixLicensure.org in an effort to spur Congress to reform current medical licensing barriers which inhibit the adoption and expansion of telemedicine by prohibiting providers from practicing across state lines.
The old approach of requiring physicians to obtain multiple licenses and adhere to diverse and often conflicting state medical malpractice rules is a barrier to progress, quality, competition and economy. So, for all of the hype surrounding the skyrocketing costs of providing care under the current market structure, sometimes an even greater barrier to the meaningful deployment of information technology in the medical enterprise has been man-made barriers of regulation.
FixLicensure.org is an effort iMedicalApps will proudly stand behind and we encourage readers to join us in signing the petition. Read below to learn more about how our duplicative state-based medical licensure system hinders adoption of mobile and telehealth.
Under most existing state laws, the problems with licensure extends beyond telemedicine concerns; physicians are prohibited from even writing their own patients prescriptions when the individual is out of state on business or vacation, in which case the patient is forced to see a local doctor to receive treatment.
Other governments and regulatory bodies have modernized their licensure policies to provide physicians to practice more freely. Physicians in the European Union were granted the right of free circulation as providers of medical services within the 25-nation trading bloc as part of the organization’s founding charter. Even physicians with the Department of Defense and Veteran Affairs need only be licensed in their home state to treat the military and veterans on federal property. However, little has been done at the Federal-level to reform licensure policy in the past thirty years to the detriment of the entire system.
Read below the statement issued by the ATA on FixLicensure.org;
We are united in urging rapid movement toward resolving the duplicative systems for licensing doctors and other healthcare professionals in the United States. Increasingly mobile and connected consumers should not be hindered in selecting the best healthcare because of state boundries. Likewise, healthcare systems should not be thwarted from linking specialists and clinics into an efficient and effective system of care. The patchwork of state-by-state licensing creates a mire of costly red tape and has become an untenable barrier for both providers and patients.
Resolving this problem will improve patient choice, better ensure consumer safety, cut costs and alleviate regional healthcare shortages. It will also remove a barrier to interstate commerce that restricts the growth of an important industry that helps meet bipartisan goals of health reform.
We call on Congress to fix medical licensing for 21st century America!