The bipartisan, bicameral TREAT Act would allow health care professionals licensed in good standing to provide in-person care or telehealth visits from any state throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and in future national emergencies. Under current law, health care professionals must maintain licenses in each state they provide services.
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the health care delivery system in unprecedented ways and the issue of inter-state licensing has created significant barriers. The need for a short-term, uniform fix to address the licensing barriers to interstate care is increasingly needed. In response to such need, some governors and most state legislatures issued executive orders and emergency declarations temporarily allowing to varying degrees limited license reciprocity with other states. As a result, telehealth, virtual health care via video or phone, quickly became a lifeline for patients who could not travel to see their doctors in other states and for college and university students as they returned to their homes, often far from their campus-based physical and mental health care providers. The TREAT Act would create a temporary license reciprocity for all practitioners or professionals (those who treat both physical and mental health conditions) in all states for in-person or telehealth visits during a national emergency.