A Solution to Cross-State Licensure: Regional Medical Excellence Zones
During the COVID-19 pandemic, all 50 states have used emergency authority to waive some aspect(s) of state licensure laws. Additionally, the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) was amended to create a model executive order to allow for care across state lines. This is the first time that consumers have had the ability, on a widespread basis, to access care from providers in other states. Prior to the pandemic, only medical practitioners serving active duty military or veterans through the Veterans Administration, and registered nurses in certain states, could provide care across state lines without a license in the state where the patient is located.
As the pandemic continues on, some governors are assessing the impact of telemedicine waivers. Idaho Governor Brad Little determined that the waiver of the rules did not compromise public safety, and made them permanent through Proclamation in June. A group of western Governors, including Governors Inslee, Brown, Sisolak and Polis are working together to identify best practices that support telehealth services for residents of their states.
If governors and state legislators are interested in giving their citizens access to care from out of state providers, and their in-state providers access to out of state patients, they cannot affect this change on their own. The laws of the state can only be changed to allow providers in.
It is imperative, therefore, that states band together.
The Medical Excellence Zone is an area defined by multiple state borders where medical practitioners may practice across state lines. Practitioners may not establish physical practices in states where they are not licensed but as long as they are licensed and in good standing with one state in the Zone, they may practice across state lines.
Key features of the Medical Excellence Zone include:
Immediate benefits of the Medical Excellence Zone include:
Please find model legislative language to create a Interstate Medical Excellence Zone here and below: