NEWS

WHA Applauds Assembly Vote to Advance Interstate Physician Licensure Compact


MADISON (September 24, 2015)
 MADISON (September 24, 2015) --- The Wisconsin Hospital Association praised members of the Wisconsin Assembly today for their support of a bill that will speed up the licensure of physicians in Wisconsin, eliminate administrative red tape and increase access to health care for Wisconsin residents across the state.

The Assembly passed the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Bill – Assembly Bill 253 authored by Rep. Nancy VanderMeer and Sen. Sheila Harsdorf, on a vote of 95 – 1. The legislation passed the Assembly after receiving a unanimous 11-0 vote in the Assembly Health Committee.

“We are pleased the Assembly is proactively taking steps to address what is projected to be a significant shortage of physicians over the next decade,” according to WHA President/CEO Eric Borgerding. “This legislation is an important tool that hospitals, health systems and clinics can use to enable highly qualified physicians to receive an expedited Wisconsin license that will enable them to begin serving patients in Wisconsin communities much more quickly.”

Enactment of this bill will remove red tape in the medical licensure process and increase access to care in Wisconsin communities by creating a voluntary, alternative, expedited process for a physician to receive a Wisconsin license. Physicians who do not utilize the expedited Compact process are not affected by the legislation.

Without the Compact, it can take three to six months or longer to gather and process the paperwork for a physician to receive a Wisconsin license. The process for applying for a medical license is similar, but not uniform, across states so physicians applying in Wisconsin often must provide the same information, but in a different format, to the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board that they have already provided to other state medical boards.

By joining with the 11 states that have already adopted the Compact (including Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois), Wisconsin can expedite the process to receive a Wisconsin license for physicians who meet the eligibility standards of the Compact legislation. For physicians who utilize the expedited Compact process to receive a Wisconsin license, this will reduce the time and cost for both the physician and the Department of Safety and Professional Services to apply for and process the physician’s Wisconsin license. Most importantly, it will enable those physicians to begin serving Wisconsin communities more quickly.

“This bipartisan, common-sense legislation will reduce the administrative burden of licensing physicians in multiple states and will speed up access to care in communities across Wisconsin,” Borgerding said. “We want to thank Representative Nancy VanderMeer for shepherding this legislation through the state Assembly and for her passionate leadership on this important issue to Wisconsin’s health care industry.” Assembly Bill 253 has now been sent to the Wisconsin State Senate and awaits action in that Chamber.

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Mary Kay Grasmick, 608-274-1820, 608-575-7516