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MADISON (Sept 24, 2015)—The Wisconsin Medical Society today praised the Wisconsin State Assembly for its overwhelming bipartisan support of Assembly Bill 253, which allows Wisconsin to join the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact.
“The Society is pleased with the Assembly’s passage of AB 253 this afternoon. We are a strong supporter of this legislation because it makes the process for physicians seeking medical licenses in multiple states quicker and more efficient,” said Society President Jerry Halverson, MD. “It’s also a smart step forward in enabling the practice of telemedicine, which can provide better access to medical specialists—particularly in rural areas.”
The Compact eases the administrative burden for a license applicant, who now often must wait for months while different states request and verify the same background information before issuing a medical license. Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois are among the 11 states that have already joined the Compact.
“With today’s integrated system of health care delivery, it’s not uncommon for physicians to seek a license in multiple states,” said Halverson, “but lengthy waiting periods for duplicative processes are frustrating because they just delay access to care.”
Participation in the Compact licensing process by physicians is completely optional under the legislation, and all associated costs will be paid by those physicians who opt to use the Compact. In addition, the state’s Medical Examining Board maintains oversight of the practice of medicine in Wisconsin.
“Today’s strong bipartisan support of this bill in the Assembly shows that lawmakers understand the importance of streamlining processes that can lead to better access to care for Wisconsin citizens, and we look forward to this momentum carrying over to the State Senate as they consider AB 253,” said Halverson.
With more than 12,500 members dedicated to the best interests of their patients, the Wisconsin Medical Society is the largest association of medical doctors in the state and a trusted source for health policy leadership since 1841.