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Wisconsin becomes 12th state to enact Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

Wisconsin became the 12th state to enact the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact after Governor Scott Walker signed the legislation into law today. Wisconsin joins a growing coalition of states across the nation committed to expanding access to quality health care, especially to those in rural and underserved areas of the country. The Compact will expedite the licensing process for qualified physicians and reduce barriers to obtaining licensure in multiple states and jurisdictions.

Authored by Wisconsin Representative Nancy VanderMeer (R–Tomah) and Senator Sheila Harsdorf (R–River Falls), Assembly Bill 253 passed the Assembly by a vote of 95-1 and was concurred by the Senate by a vote of 31-1. Gundersen Health System, Mayo Clinic Health System, Wisconsin Medical Society, and Wisconsin Hospital Association were among the many advocates for the Compact in Wisconsin.

By significantly streamlining the licensure process, the Compact is expected to expand access to health care and facilitate new modes of health care delivery, such as telemedicine. Wisconsin joins 11 other states in enacting the Compact this year, including Alabama, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.

“We are proud that Wisconsin has joined the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact to ensure that all its patients have access to quality health care, while maintaining the highest level of patient protections,” said Dr. Kenneth B. Simons, Chairperson of the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board. “By facilitating medical license portability, the Compact will benefit both physicians and patients in Wisconsin and across the nation.”

Since model legislation for the Compact was drafted in September 2014, 20 state legislatures have introduced the Compact legislation and 30 state medical and osteopathic boards have publicly expressed support for it. The Compact has been endorsed by a broad coalition of health care stakeholders, including the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). New introductions of the model Compact legislation are expected across the nation in 2016 as states begin to pre-file bills.

The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Commission, which consists of representatives from each state that has enacted the Compact, has begun meeting to establish an administrative framework for the Compact. The next meeting of the Commission will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah, on December 18, 2015.

For more information about the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, please visit http://licenseportability.org/. To read the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact model legislation, click here.

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