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Society shows strong support for Interstate Compact legislation

The Wisconsin Medical Society was well represented in the State Capitol this week, testifying in favor of Assembly Bill 253 (AB 253), which would allow Wisconsin to join the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact. The bill would ease the administrative burden of duplicative primary source verification for physicians seeking licenses to practice medicine in multiple states. Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois are among the 11 states that have already approved joining the Compact.

Society Chief Medical Officer Donn Dexter, MD, provided real-world examples of how greater access to physicians can aid patient care—especially in time-critical areas such as stroke. As a neurologist for the Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, Dr. Dexter described his experience with treating stroke victims via telemedicine.

“If you’re a patient and you show up at Sparta Hospital or the hospital in Barron or Osseo or Menomonie and you’ve had a stroke, there are no neurologists in those hospitals. But you have access to world-leading experts in stroke, instantaneously—in those first few golden minutes where we can make a big difference for stroke,” Dr. Dexter said. “Expanding the workforce for those stroke experts that we have access to is going to save people’s lives and reduce morbidity.”

The Society also provided written testimony outlining the benefits of joining the Compact, and included this coalition handout from Doctor Day 2015 at the Capitol. Lessening the time it takes to get a medical license, voluntary participation and maintaining the state’s autonomy over license-holders are among the benefits described.

“This legislation helps fix a problem, does not erode power from the state’s Medical Examining Board and is truly optional for physicians,” the testimony says.

You can view the hearing on WisconsinEye. AB 253 was the third of three bills heard that morning.

The Compact effort is being organized by the Federation of State Medical Boards—a kind of think tank for state medical examining boards. You can read more about the Compact and its progress throughout the country here.

Contact Mark Grapentine, JD, in the Society’s Government and Legal Affairs department for more information.

Back to August 20, 2015 Medigram