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Telemedicine and nurse license compacts

One thing that has been playing an increased role in the field of medicine in recent years is telemedicine. This is when medical professionals provide health care help/support remotely through telephone or online means. Telemedicine is expected to continue to grow in prevalence in upcoming years.

The rise of telemedicine raises some unique issues when it comes to health care licenses. For one, some argue that, as telemedicine is making it easier for medical professionals to provide care across state lines, states should provide more efficient means for medical professionals licensed in one state to be able to practice in another.

One method some advocate for making getting authorization to practice in multiple states easier for medical professionals are license compacts.

One type of such compact that currently exists is a licensure compact for nurses. Under this compact, nurses from states that have entered the compact can have a multistate license that allows them to practice in other compact states. Half of the states in the country entered the compact, enacting the original form of the compact. Wisconsin is among these states.

There is now a new "enhanced" form of this compact. Specifically, an updated form of the compact legislation has been developed containing new terms/provisions. Some hope this will ultimately lead to an overall increase in the number of compact states. There are currently seven states that have passed legislation related to the new form of the compact. Wisconsin is currently not among these states.

Do you think the growth of telemedicine and the enhanced compact will lead to more states becoming compact states? What do you think the future holds for nurse license compacts and other license compacts?

Issues regarding multistate licensing are not the only license-related issues the growth of telemedicine raises. Other issues telemedicine raises are unique issues regarding disciplinary matters, such as what sorts of allegations regarding the practice of telemedicine could lead to a medical professional facing possible license problems.

When a medical professional is facing disciplinary measures in connection to allegations related to patient care, whether the allegations involve traditional health care practice or telemedicine, license defense attorneys can help them with the unique issues of their case.

Sources: The Wall Street Journal, "A Battle Brews Over Nurse Licensing in the Digital Age," Stephanie Armour, April 26, 2016

National Council of State Boards of Nursing, "Nurse Licensure Compact," Accessed April 26, 2016

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