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Medical boards look to ease license portability

Physician Practice Advisor, November 15, 2006

The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) hopes to ease license portability for physicians practicing across state lines, using grants from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration to improve the way medical boards share physician data, according to a report in American Medical News.

The FSMB wants to develop a central database to provide individual boards with access to physician credentials. The FSMB said the database would decrease the time and paperwork required to license physicians in multiple states.

About one in five physicians currently has licenses in two or more states, with a growing number of physicians practicing telemedicine or opening practices across state lines.

According to the FSMB, license portability provides multiple benefits, including

  • increased access for patients in underserved areas
  • enhanced ability for physicians to respond to natural disasters
  • reduced barriers for telemedicine across state lines
  • streamlining of the licensing process