:: National Licensure for Quality Healthcare across America
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December 31, 2012 

U.S. Representative, Mike Thompson (D-CA 1) introduced the Telehealth Promotion Act, which would provide a new federal standard for medical licensure. Consistent with legislation already passed by Congress for military healthcare, providers in all federal health plans would only need to be licensed in the state of their physical location and would be free to treat eligible patients anywhere in the nation.

January 31, 2012

ATA Holds Congressional Briefing on State Medical Licensing

On January 31, ATA sponsored a briefing for members of Congress outlining issues related to the current system of licensing and regulating physicians in the United States. The briefing was the first time the issue had been addressed on Capitol Hill. Participating in the briefing were representatives from a number of institutions who shared their concerns and suggestions. The audience included key staff from both Senators and Representatives in Congress.

ATA President Bernard Harris, MD opened the meeting and introduced issue as well as the participants. ATA’s white paper on state-based licensure is available here. The participants in the briefing included:
  • Susan Dentzer, Editor-In-Chief, Health Affairs. Health Affairs is the nation's leading peer-reviewed journal focused on the intersection of health, health care and health policy in the United States and internationally. Dentzer served as the moderator of the panel. 

  • Craig Sable, MD, Director, Echocardiography and Telemedicine, Children's National Medical Center. Sable provides remote cardiac services to patients in numerous locations in the United States and Africa. 

  • Andy Mekelburg, Vice President - Federal Relations, Verizon. Verizon employs and provides health insurance to approximately 900,000 employees and retirees nationwide.  

  • Deanna Larson, RN, Vice President for Quality & eCare Initiatives, Avera Health. Avera, headquartered in South Dakota, has facilities and provides services in a six state area. 

  • Fern Goodhart, Legislative Assistant, Office of U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM). Senator Udall has been exploring issues related to state licensure and potential options for congressional action. 

  • Darrell Owens, Legislative Assistant, Office of Congressman Glenn 'GT' Thompson (R-PA). Congressman Thompson sponsored the 2011 Servicemembers' Telemedicine and E-Health Portability (STEP) Act, which removed the state licensure burden to allow health care professionals to provide care to servicemen and women in a different state.
It was pointed out that the issues went beyond telemedicine to include the millions of travelers, large employers and others. Concerns came from both rural and urban areas and included both Republican and Democratic Members of Congress. Legislation to address the issues is being drafted by Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) and a variety of approaches to resolve the problems are under consideration by a number of parties.

Press Summary:


October 5, 2011

Free ATA Videocast - Resolving Medical Licensure Barriers
Original Broadcast: October 5, 2011

(When prompted, use passcode: 35465) 

 Jon Linkous, ATA CEO, and Ellen Cohn, PhD, Chair of the ATA Telerehabilitation Special Interest Group, describe the current 50 state system for medical licensure and practice regulation and efforts to facilitate solutions that will potentially benefit consumers, clinicians and fiscally challenged state governments.

September 20, 2011

Jonathan Linkous, CEO of the American Telemedicine Association discusses the limitations of the state licensure system. This presentation was part of the 2011 ATA Fall Forum, held September 20-21, 2011 in Anchorage, AK.


August 29, 2011

In a rare form of bipartisanship, 14 Republicans and 7 Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives have come together to sponsor the Servicemembers' Telemedicine and E-Health Portability Act (H.R. 1832) and both Senate and House are on the verge of expanding this nationwide licensing.

In the U.S. Senate, a Senator is expected to introduce a bill in Fall 2011 to create national voluntary medical licensure. is hosted by the American Telemedicine Association
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