Minnesota physicians who also practice over in Wisconsin may have heard that Governor Scott Walker sign into law earlier this week a measure aimed at reducing the time and costs doctors from other states face in order to gain admittance to practice medicine in Wisconsin. The measure officially made Wisconsin a party to the Interstate Physician Licensure Compact.
The compact establishes a new license category recognized by participating states, such that a physician licensed in one state would ease the requirements for a physician to practice in those states. Applications fees would still need to be paid for each state, and physicians with such a license would still need to fulfill the continuing education requirements in each participating state where he or she wants license renewal. This would be done, though, by designating a home state and using that’s state’s paperwork to obtain credentials in the other participating states, of which there are currently 11 others.
In Wisconsin, the move to enter into participation in the compact was partly motivated by the need to increase access to medical care, and to improve outcomes for patients, in rural and undeserved areas.
The number of doctors who will opt to participate in the program remains to be seen, but some indication may be seen in the fact that there are currently 200 doctors in the Mayo system in Wisconsin who are also licensed in Minnesota, and 500 Minnesota physicians who are also licensed in Wisconsin. These dual licensures all fall under the old procedures. Then there is the possibility, of course, of bringing in practitioners from surrounding states.
In our next post, we’ll continue looking at this topic, and how it will—or will not—impact matters of regulation and discipline.