Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

Weill Cornell Medicine (WCM) strongly supports legislation (S.2216) that amends the education law for the purpose of enabling New York State to join the interstate medical licensure compact (IMLC) which provides a streamlined process that allows physicians to become licensed in multiple participating states, thereby enhancing the portability of a medical license and ensuring the safety of patients.

A major barrier to the further adoption of telehealth is interstate licensing rules which prevent clinicians from seeing patients virtually, even long-standing patients, who happen to be located outside of New York at the time of the visit, unless the clinician is licensed in that other state. The problem is acute for mental and behavioral health. New York has an abundance of high-quality hospitals, doctors, and other providers, and patients from all around the country come to New York to seek care. Licensing rules make this more difficult by preventing out of state patients from using telehealth to see a New York provider. It also makes it much harder for New York residents, such as college students or retirees, who happen to be out of state for an extended period, from receiving care from their usual primary care, mental health, or other provider. In the current environment, obtaining a license in another state is incredibly time consuming and has onerous requirements causing many providers to choose not to pursue the license. We need access to a better, more streamlined approach to securing licenses.

Participation in the IMLC has seen a significant increase since it became operational in April 2017. In FY2022, the IMLC processed 10,832 applications and issued 17,973 licenses, up from 125 applications processed and 81 issued licenses in FY2017. The COVID-19 pandemic also resulted in an increase in processed applications and licenses issued. During the 12-month period pre-COVID (March 2019 to February 2020), the IMLC processed 3,738 applications and issued 3,877 licenses. The most recent data, from March 2021 to February 2022, shows there were 7,749 applications processed and 13,059 licenses issued.

Recent states to join IMLC include New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, Ohio, and Indiana.

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