Although demand for locum tenens providers has been on the rise for decades, it wasn’t until Jan. 2015 that legislature started to seriously accommodate this demand—a demand that the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact stands to mitigate. LocumTenensDaily.com reports that 10 states have introduced the legislation to expedite the locum licensing process: Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Vermont and Wyoming are the US’s first states to utilize this bill.
A bill created by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), this piece of legislature simplifies and expedites what was once a lengthy licensing process for nearly all facilities and locum tenens providers. Given that so many gaps in coverage arise unexpectedly, it is crucial that locum tenens providers and facilities alike have streamlined, quick and efficient licensing process; this legislation provides just that. LocumTenensDaily.com reports that this new law gives providers the freedom to work in multiple states without enduring the wait to obtain state-specific licenses.
In turn, healthcare facilities can trust that the gaps in their facilities’ coverage can be filled at faster rates. The FSMB legislation may spurn more facilities to rightfully entrust their reputation to the quality of care that locum tenens providers are capable of upholding. This not only deepens the breadth of talent in the locum tenens provider pool, it creates better access to rarer medical sub-specialties and means more patients will receive the healthcare they need in a timelier manner.
As is always the case in healthcare, especially as it pertains to the provider shortage, waiting is not an option. Streamlined and efficient processes on the legislative side of the fence suggest that government is now willing to equal the healthcare industry’s pace in resolving the provider shortage issue, giving locum tenens companies and highly qualified providers who still struggle to find employment the resources necessary to resuscitate the lackluster provider pool. When it comes to healthcare, time is of the essence and everything is urgent. Licensing is no different.
But this new legislature does not suggest that practicing standards have slackened or that there will be a greater number of providers with fewer skills—it merely means that more states are willing to accept other states’ credentials, respecting the standards for healthcare on a greater geographic scale. This new FSMB legislation neither permits nor condones practicing without a license proving a providers’ worth: it merely gives more credit to the differences of various geographic locales and how each of these locales decides to train its providers. One thing is certain: the emergence of this legislation is positive, for it will give locum tenens companies and providers alike greater leverage in winning the fight against the national provider shortage.
- Locum Tenens Daily - http://www.locumtenensdaily.com/dissolving-lines-interstate-medical-licensure-compact/