On the Horizon: An Expedited System for Multi-State Practice

October 2019


In July of 2015, Illinois became the eleventh state to join the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact. Two years after establishing the system, the Illinois application process came online in September 2017. This initiative, spearheaded by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and supported by the Illinois State Medical Society (ISMS), now provides an expedited process for eligible physicians to obtain medical licenses in other states participating in the Compact. The licensure Compact serves as a useful tool for Illinois physicians who practice telemedicine or want to more easily expand their practices into other states. This Issue Brief will discuss what the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact is and how doctors can now apply for expedited medical licenses in other states participating in the Compact.

What is the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact and why is it necessary?

The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact is designed to provide physicians interested in licensure in multiple states with a streamlined avenue by which to receive those licenses. This will be achieved by reducing the repetitive nature of the licensure process in each state. The agreement set forth under the Compact provides that participating states grant licenses to eligible physicians based on information already obtained and verified for the physician’s primary license. Eligible physicians will not only experience a reduction in the amount of paperwork necessary to receive licensure in another state, but should also see greatly reduced wait times for application review and approval.

This compact arose from two issues impacting the medical community:

  • The first is the relatively low number of physicians serving in large rural areas. Giving physicians easier access to practice in other states, combined with ever-growing telemedicine capabilities, the Compact serves as a partial solution to the medical needs of the rural population.
  • Additionally, the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has resulted in an increased number of citizens in all areas seeking health care. By giving physicians more flexibility, the Compact will serve as a tool to help meet the increasing demand for physicians in underserved areas.

To view this Issue Brief in its entirety, click Get Resource.

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