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Medical Examining Board Considers WHA Proposal to Create Physician License Time Metrics

Proposal a component of WHA physician burden reduction agenda

July 23, 2019

The Wisconsin Medical Examining Board (MEB) considered a WHA proposal for the MEB to establish medical licensure application processing time metrics and to add those metrics as a standing report item on the MEB’s agenda. The agenda item was a follow up to WHA’s Vice President of Workforce and Clinical Practice Ann Zenk raising the issue at the June MEB meeting and a subsequent WHA letter proposing potential measures sent by Zenk and Mark Kaufman, MD, WHA Chief Medical Officer.

“One of the top state regulatory issues impacting physician burden identified by Wisconsin physician leaders and administrators alike is timeliness of physician licensure processing,” said WHA General Counsel Matthew Stanford during WHA’s presentation to the MEB. “By transparently measuring the timeliness of each part of the licensure process, the Board will have additional information to monitor and identify problems in the licensure process, and also help physicians, hospitals, and the public better understand the different parts and responsibilities of the licensure process.”

In addition to the MEB presentation, WHA has taken several steps recently to further explore and resolve physician licensure delays:

  • In May, WHA met with Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) Secretary Dawn Crim and her leadership team and discussed licensure timeliness issues, as well as developing transparent measures regarding physician licensure timeliness.
  • At the June 19 MEB meeting, WHA requested the Board consider adding physician licensure application processing time metrics as a standing report item on the Board’s agenda. The request generated a positive response to routine reporting of metrics and a lively discussion by Board members of licensure delays.
  • WHA’s Zenk discussed options for measuring and reporting medical licensure timeliness with DSPS Assistant Deputy Secretary Dan Hereth in late June. DSPS expressed significant interest in working with WHA to establish and report such measures to help identify problems that can lead to lengthy licensure delays.
  • On June 27, Kaufman and Zenk sent a follow-up letter to the Chair and Vice Chair of the MEB to provide additional detail on suggested metrics and recognition of the value of MEB acting on this issue.

Members of the MEB supported pursuing WHA’s proposal. Board Chair, Dr. Kenneth Simons, noted, “We need to work with DSPS staff to look at this process and determine what actions are necessary and feasible.” Board members will meet with DSPS credentialing staff to further explore the current process, and DSPS credentialing staff will be invited to attend MEB to discuss physician licensure processes and the Board’s desire to receive reports of licensure processing metrics on a routine basis.

“WHA appreciates the partnership it has had with the MEB in recent years on important policy issues including enacting and maintaining the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact and addressing opioid abuse in Wisconsin,” said Zenk. “We look forward to continuing this partnership as we further explore physician licensure delays together.”

This story originally appeared in the July 23, 2019 edition of WHA Newsletter