Much has been said on the issue of licensing in telehealth networks and legislation is ambling forward to say the least. 2018 might be the year when solutions for the licensing challenge – such as the interstate compact licensing – will quicken its pace and other pathways will be discovered.

Last week we outlined four tips for you to expand your telehealth provider network for 2018 and we’ll now expand on to the fourth idea – consider interstate compact license states.

Interstate licensing compacts aim to give health care workers in members states, a faster process for getting licenses to practice in multiple states. Rules in specific member states apply so it is still crucial to be knowledgeable of each state’s requirements and regulations.

There is still a number of states waiting for legislation on these compacts but with the surge of telehealth expansion, states are being forced to take a good hard look at their own rules.

However, applying for these interstate licensure compacts are still purely voluntary and have an additional cost. The two updates to consider in interstate compact licensing are:

  1. Status of your state
  2. Types of healthcare providers with interstate license compacts

Maximizing interstate licensure compacts can be advantageous to your hiring and expansion of telehealth networks. In detail, here are the three updates and how you can take advantage of these:

  • Status of your state

At the start of 2018, various boards of physicians, nurses, physical therapists, and even emergency response services have continued to lobby to cover more states in its interstate licensure compact.

It is interesting to note that member states have different status in the compact. Some are able to issue interstate licenses while the rest do not. They merely allow practice for those with interstate licenses. Also, not all member states have gone live just yet, some have implementation delayed for various reasons.

Check the status of the compacts for physicians, nurses, physical therapists, and EMS.

  1. Various types of healthcare providers with interstate license compacts

It is not just physicians who can apply for interstate license compacts. Various groups of healthcare providers – nurses, physical therapists, even EMS – have also seen the need to have a form of unified licensing to harmonize healthcare efforts. Even psychologists are pushing for an ‘interjurisdictional compact’ though it has not yet reached the required number of states to go live.

Telehealth patients would require holistic healthcare approach and thus a host of healthcare providers are necessary. Interstate licensing compacts aim to bridge the gap between linking different specialists and providers to give complete care and value to patients and clients regardless of the providers’ and clients’ location.

In the coming years, with the growth of telehealth, other health care services would also explore possible interstate or interjurisdictional licensing compacts.

How to take advantage of these updates:

What interstate compact licenses do is to align and assimilate all application requirements among the states for quicker processing. Information needed includes full background and criminal check regardless of what state they live in. Other requirements usually include accreditation for a graduate medical education, license to practice, and specialty certification. Having these data available for you will significantly make prospecting and hiring less cumbersome.

Target states which implement interstate compacts on licensing on a wide variety of healthcare providers. These can be one of the various purposeful efforts to collect data into a wider and deeper candidate talent pool.

This year, 2018, could prove to be the year when more developments – especially in legislation – will pave the way for easier sourcing of healthcare providers so companies can focus more on staying true to the goals of telehealth of providing better quality, access, and personalized healthcare.

Check the status of Interstate licenses in the different states by following the links below:

Nurses: https://www.ncsbn.org/eNLCmapenactedonly012518.pdf

Physicians:  http://www.imlcc.org/

Physical Therapy: http://ptcompact.org/ptc-states

EMS: http://www.emsreplica.org